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Membrane Lab

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Membrane Lab at OU

Our mission: “Our experimental/theoretical program leverages principles of physical chemistry and thermodynamics to understand fundamental phenomena governing selectivity and stability in polymer membranes, and design smart membrane materials exhibiting pre-assigned selectivity and stability”. This research program is instrumental to reach our final goal, that is, to produce human capital. The MembraneLab@OU is the place where human capital flourishes.”

On a worldwide scale, chemical separations account for 10% of the global energy consumption, which corresponds to 7.5 GJ per person annually. The over 40,000 distillation columns installed in the US use about 50% of the energy consumed by the chemical industry, and 6% of the total energy consumed in the country. Global energy consumption could be alleviated by introducing more energy efficient separation processes, among which gas and liquid membrane-based separations are attracting special attention. A limiting factor for the large-scale use of membrane technologies is the availability of materials endowed with attractive selectivity and long-term chemical, thermal and mechanical stability.

Our interdisciplinary research program, which embraces the broad areas of Chemical, Materials and Energy Engineering, as well as Polymer Chemistry, combines experiments and advanced modelling to:

1)  understand fundamental phenomena governing selectivity in polymer membranes

2) create advanced membrane materials for gas separation and organic solvent reverse osmosis/nanofiltration exhibiting high selectivity and long-term stability.