Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Chemical Engineering


Chemical separations are critical to almost every aspect of our daily lives, from the energy we use to the medications we take, but consume 10-15% of the total energy used in the world. It has been estimated that highly selective membranes could make these separations 10-times more energy efficient and save 100 million tonnes/year of carbon dioxide emissions and £3.5 billion in energy costs annually (US DoE). More selective separation processes are essential to "maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth", and will assist the move towards "low carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources" (HM Govt Clean Growth Strategy, 2017). In the healthcare sector there is growing concern over the cost of the latest pharmaceuticals, which are often biologicals, with an unmet need for highly selective separation of product-related impurities such as active from inactive viruses (HM Govt Industrial Strategy 2017). In the water sector, the challenges lie in the removal of ions and small molecules at very low concentrations, so-called micropollutants (Cave Review, 2008). Those developing sustainable approaches to chemicals manufacture require novel separation approaches to remove small amounts of potent inhibitors during feedstock preparation. Manufacturers of high-value products would benefit from higher recovery offered by more selective membranes.
In all these instances, higher selectivity separation processes will provide a step-change in productivity, a critical need for the UK economy, as highlighted in the UK Government's Industrial Strategy and by our industrial partners.

SynHiSel's vision is to create the high selectivity membranes needed to enable the adoption of a novel generation of emerging high-value/high-efficiency processes.

Our ambition is to change the way the global community perceives performance, with a primary focus on improved selectivity and its process benefits - while maintaining gains already made in permeance and longevity.


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Ferrari M (2023) Recent developments in 2D materials for gas separation membranes in Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering

Description BEIS CCUS ECPF Steering Group meeting.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a guidance/advisory committee
Description contribution to People and skills in UK science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Science and Technology Committee (Lords), 24/10/22.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
Description 3D-printed membranes for effective removal of antibiotics prepared using biodegradable fillers
Amount £138,734 (GBP)
Funding ID NIF\R1\221820 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2023 
End 03/2025
Description Design, Program, Evolve: Engineering efficient electrochemical devices for a net-zero world
Amount £1,987,344 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/W03395X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2022 
End 10/2026
Description Sustainable manufacturing of membranes for water treatment and purification
Amount £12,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2022 
End 01/2024
Description Collaboration with University of Melbourne, Australia 
Organisation University of Melbourne
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Supervision of doctoral student in The University of Manchester, UK
Collaborator Contribution Supervision of doctoral student in the University of Melbourne, Australia
Impact Publication: M. Yu, A.B. Foster, C.A. Scholes, S.E. Kentish and P.M. Budd, Methanol Vapor Retards Aging of PIM-1 Thin Film Composite Membranes in Storage, ACS Macro Lett., 2023, 12, 113-117.
Start Year 2021