Organic Solvent Nanofiltration

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Project Description

Separation processes play a remarkable role in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, where they account for 50 to 70% of both capital and operational costs. Organic synthesis in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry are frequently performed in organic solvents and consist of products with high added value that should be removed from the organic solvents. Organic solvent nanofiltration is an emerging technology which allows the isolation and separation of solutes between 50 and 2000 g/mol in organic solvents. The development of nanofiltration membranes stable in harsh environments (e.g. polar aprotic solvents, extreme temperature, pressure and pH) is of utmost importance. Solvent resistant nanofiltration membranes will be fabricated exhibiting superior chemical stability compared to commercial polymeric membranes. The concept of design of experiments (DoE) will be applied throughout the project to gain an in depth understanding parameters governing the membrane will be prepared and crosslinked using aromatic bifunctional crosslinkers. The membrane performance (i.e. flux, retention profile, solvent stability) will be evaluated using a nanofiltration rig.
Program - Chemical Engineering
Division - Physical Sciences and Engineering
Field of Study - Engineering in Pharmaceutical Industry

About the
Researcher

Gyorgy Szekely

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Gyorgy Szekely

Professor Szekely's research focuses on sustainable separations through the synergistic combination of materials science and chemical engineering. Sustainable production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and clean water is largely impacted by the efficiency of separation processes in product supply chains. The conventional separation processes can account for as much as 80% of the total manufacturing costs, contributing ~10% of the world's energy consumption. In particular, the group's research investigates the potential of advanced membrane and imprinted materials for efficient purification and sustainable processing of fine chemicals and water.

Desired Project Deliverables

The student will acquire soft skills such as team working, project and time management, giving oral presentations. By the end of the traineeship the student will have a deep understanding of membrane separations, particularly in nanofiltration. Practical and theoretical aspects of surface modification techniques and polymer chemistry techniques will be acquired.