Membranes for Traditional Desalination and Beyond

Membranes play a critical role in the wastewater purification industry, with processes like reverse osmosis (RO)and nanofiltration (NF), accounting for nearly 65% of all desalination operations worldwide. Challenges still exist for this technology in the form of membrane fouling, inadequate selectivities for non-charged solutes and application to hyper-saline sources just to name a few. Addressing these challenges could lead to further lowering of energy requirements for membrane-based processes, which in fact, is the focus of our research. We employ nano engineering -enabled techniques (e.g self-assembly) to improve the properties of existing membranes as well as, create entirely new membrane platforms with attractive separation properties.

Specific Areas of Interest

  • Anti-fouling membranes for challenging separations (seawater/wastewater treatment; flowback/produced water treatment)
  • Membrane selective layer engineering for nanofiltration, reverse osmosis and forward osmosis
  • Developing membranes as the next generation separation tools for bio-refineries