Selective rejection of dissolved salts in water is achieved by large pressure gradient driven flows through tortuous structures and cylindrical nanopores. The flow rate through the membrane is dependent on the area of the membrane and pressure gradient that can be sustained by the membrane. The electrical power required for generating large pressure gradients increases the operational cost for desalination units and limits application of contemporary technologies in a wide variety of applications. Due to this limitation, small scale operation of these desalination systems is not economical and portable. Further, recently proposed desalination systems using carbon nanotubes and nanofluidic diodes have limited lifetime due to clogging and fouling from contaminants in feed water. In order to develop a desalination system that is not limited by cost, scale of operation and application, an active nanopore membrane that uses multiphysics interactions in a surface-functionalized hyperboloidal nanopore is developed. An active nanopore is a shape-changing hyperboloidal pore that is formed in a rugged electroactive composite membrane and utilizes coupled electrostatic, hydrodynamic and mechanical interactions due to reversible mechanical oscillations between the charged pore walls and dissolved ions in water for desalination. This novel approach takes advantage of the shape of the pore to create a pumping action in the hyperboloidal channel to selectively transport water molecules. In order to demonstrate the applicability of this novel concept for water desalination, the paper will use a theoretical model to model the ion rejection properties and flow rate of purified water through an active nanoporous membrane. This article examines the effect of the geometry of the nanopore and frequency of operation to reject dissolved ions in water through a multiphysics model. It is estimated that the neck diameter of the active nanopores is the most dominant geometrical feature for achieving ion rejection, and the flux linearly increases with the frequency of operation (between 2–50Hz). The threshold neck diameter of the nanopore required for achieving rejection from multiphysics simulation is observed to be 100nm. The flux through the membrane decreases significantly with decreasing diameter and becomes negligible at 10nm effective neck diameter.

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