Nanostructured Membranes for Innovations in Liquid Separations

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Department of Chemical Engineering

Abstract

This Platform Grant would underpin research in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College into the development and application of nanostructured materials as membranes for separations in organic liquids via Organic Solvent Nanofiltration (OSN). This current research encompasses membrane fabrication, structural and transport characterisation, and applications in chemical and biopharmaceutical synthesis. We will use the platform grant to develop new research in the strategic areas of:(1) Fabrication of ceramic membranes with hexagonally ordered pores (2) Novel fabrication and modification techniques - (i) Atmospheric plasma treatments and; (ii) PolyHIPEs (HIPE = High Internal Phase Emulsion)(3) Nanoporous fluoropolymer composites (4) Characterisation of film properties(5) Oligonucleotide synthesisA highly skilled team of post-doctoral researchers with wide ranging skills and a broad understanding of the whole area is key to taking an internationally leading role, and to developing exciting new research and this platform grant will provide the necessary stability and space to our post-doctoral team. Through a planned programne of research they will gain valuable experience in areas almost completely different from those they have previously worked in, enabling them to establish and broaden their track record. Most importantly, the platform grant will enable us to retain and augment valuable knowledge and expertise in our group. This will provide the continuity necessary to maintain an internationally leading position, and also for the postdocs to build their expertise and multidisciplinary outlook through the planned acquisition of new skills.Finally we wish to exploit our opportunity for expanded international interactions though our partner status in NanoMemPro, an EU Network of Excellence on Membrane Science and Technology. During the five years of Platform funding we would use some of the staff resource from the Platform grant to support our postdocs while they carry out research which supports our portfolio at NanoMemPro partner labs.

Publications

10 25 50
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Awanis Hashim N (2011) Stability of PVDF hollow fibre membranes in sodium hydroxide aqueous solution in Chemical Engineering Science

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Ikem V (2009) High Internal Phase Emulsions Stabilized Solely by Functionalized Silica Particles in Angewandte Chemie International Edition

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Ikem VO (2008) High internal phase emulsions stabilized solely by functionalized silica particles. in Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)

 
Description WE HAVE DEVELOPED A RANGE OF NEW MEMBRANE MATERIALS WITH EXQUISITELY CONTROLLED PORE SIZES, SO THAT WE CAN MUCH BETTER SEPARATE MOLECULES THAT ARE PRESENT IN A MIXTURE. THIS IS NEEDED TO GET PURE PRODUCTS, FOR EXAMPLE IN PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURE.
Exploitation Route We have applied for a patent to commercialise results. The new Barrer Centre within Imperial College has been launched involving other experts in the Department of Chemical Engineering to provide a centre for membrane expertise and excellence.
Sectors Chemicals,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description The team has developed thin film composite membranes formed by interfacial polymerisation. These novel membranes and membrane systems may be used in a variety of applications, including, but not limited to, nanofiltration, desalination and water treatment, and particularly the nanofiltration of solutes dissolved in organic solvents. Composite membranes for nanofiltration of a feed stream solution comprising a solvent and dissolved solutes and showing preferential rejection of the solutes. The composite membrane comprises a thin polymeric film formed by interfacial polymerisation on a support membrane. The support membrane is further impregnated with a conditioning agent and is stable in polar aprotic solvents. The composite membrane is optionally treated in a quenching medium, where the interfacial polymerisation reaction can be quenched and, in certain embodiments, membrane chemistry can be modified. Finally the composite membrane is treated with an activating solvent prior to nanofiltration.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description EPSRC
Amount £301,976 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G01244X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2008 
End 03/2013
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £458,649 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I010947/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2011 
End 06/2014
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £616,937 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G070172/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2009 
End 02/2013
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £627,742 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G005648/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2008 
End 11/2012
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £616,937 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G070172/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2009 
End 02/2013
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £627,742 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G005648/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2008 
End 11/2012
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £488,378 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G012679/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2009 
End 05/2014
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £458,649 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I010947/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2011 
End 06/2014
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £301,976 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G01244X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2008 
End 03/2013
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £486,870 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G012679/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2009 
End 05/2014
 
Description European Union Framework 7
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 214226 FP7-PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2007 
End 08/2011
 
Description European Union Framework 7
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 238291 FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 12/2008 
End 11/2012
 
Description European Union Framework 7
Amount £1,500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID PIAP-GA-2008-218068 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2008 
End 01/2012
 
Description Industrial - BP
Amount £180,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Lanxess, BP, Halliburton, GSK, Novartis MIT 
Organisation BP (British Petroleum) 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2007 
 
Description Industrial - GSK
Amount £180,000 (GBP)
Organisation GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 
Sector Private
Country Global
Start  
 
Description Industrial - GSK
Amount £900,000 (GBP)
Organisation GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 
Sector Private
Country Global
Start 05/2014 
End 04/2017
 
Description Industrial - Halliburton
Amount £180,000 (GBP)
Organisation Halliburton Company 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start  
 
Description Industrial - Lanxess
Amount £180,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Lanxess, BP, Halliburton, GSK, Novartis MIT 
Organisation Lanxess 
Sector Private
Country Germany
Start  
End 03/2013
 
Description Industrial - Lanxess
Amount £180,000 (GBP)
Organisation Lanxess 
Sector Private
Country Germany
Start  
 
Description Industrial - Novartis-MIT
Amount £737,000 (GBP)
Organisation Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Department The Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 11/2010 
End 05/2015
 
Description Industrial BP
Amount £180,000 (GBP)
Organisation BP (British Petroleum) 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2011 
End 09/2016
 
Title ASYMMETRIC MEMBRANES FOR USE IN NANOFILTRATION 
Description Improved integrally skinned asymmetric membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration, and their methods of preparation and use are disclosed. Membranes are formed from polybenzimidazoles by phase inversion and are then crosslinked by addition of crosslinking agents. These stabilise the membranes and allow solvent nanofiltration to be maintained even in the solvents from which the membranes were formed by phase inversion, and in strongly acidic and strongly basic solvents. 
IP Reference US20130118983 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2010
Licensed No
Impact Led to PCT/GB2011/051364 licensed to Evonik.
 
Title MEMBRANE ENHANCED POLYMER SYNTHESIS 
Description This invention relates to the synthesis of polymers. More specifically, the present invention relates to the synthesis of heterobifunctional polymers and polymers with narrow and mono-disperse molecular weight distributions, and especially to the application of membranes to the synthesis of these polymers. 
IP Reference US20130072691 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2010
Licensed No
Impact Not known
 
Title SOLVENT RESISTANT POLYAMIDE NANOFILTRATION MEMBRANES 
Description The present invention relates to a composite membrane for nanofiltration of a feed stream solution comprising a solvent and dissolved solutes and showing preferential rejection of the solutes. The composite membrane comprises a thin polymeric film formed by interfacial polymerisation on a support membrane. The support membrane is further impregnated with a conditioning agent and is stable in polar aprotic solvents. The composite membrane is optionally treated in a quenching medium, where the interfacial polymerisation reaction can be quenched and, in certain embodiments, membrane chemistry can be modified. Finally the composite membrane is treated with an activating solvent prior to nanofiltration. 
IP Reference US20130112619 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2010
Licensed Yes
Impact Patent led to PCT/GB2011/051364 licensed to Evonik.
 
Description Imperial Festival 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The College's free annual festival was held on 6th and 7th of May giving the public an opportunity to go behind-the-scenes and explore the latest research at Imperial College.

The Festival provided something for all ages to enjoy, from live interactive experiments, new technology demonstrations, in-depth talks, lab tours, musical and dance-based performances, and creative workshops within zones themed around Robots, Superbugs, Health & Body, the Future, and Energy and Environment.

The Barrer Centre demonstrated a membrane system used to purify water and compared it directly with a coventional system based on water evaporation (ie boiling) and condensing. The energy requirement for the membrane system was significantly less than for the conventional system.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017