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Using Fundamentals to Pragmatically Reach Advanced Membrane Objectives

AbstractThe  synthetic  membrane  community  exists at the crossroads of traditional chemistry, physics, biology and engineering disciplines, with a pragmatic nature focused on specific objectives in different topical subareas.  Enabled by the ability to create exquisite morphologies using novel materials via deceptively simple manufacturing approaches, our community positively impacts medical, fine chemical and commodity industries to improve the world.  The blend of fundamental and pragmatic natures is an asset that is enriched with each passing generation of increased technological sophistication, as will be emphasized in this presentation.  Evolution occurs within our various subareas, but ideally with cross-fertilization between these subareas.  In this presentation, the ability to not only discriminate between penetrants of different sizes, but also subtly different shapes, will be considered.  Fundamentally distinct aspects of this discrimination ability, spanning many orders of magnitude from the ultrafiltration to the gas separation domains, will be discussed to emphasize this defining nature of our community. In ultrafiltration, coupling of fluid mechanics in well-defined pores enables adjusting the effective size of different valuable solutes in response to elongational stresses, thereby achieving shape as well as size discrimination. On the other hand, for gas, vapor and liquid pairs differing by 0.01-0.5 nm, fluid mechanics is secondary, and materials with rigid engineered pores are useful to provide entropically-moderated molecular diffusion selectivities.  Between these limiting cases, diverse applications exist where segmental motions of the membrane matrix and/or membrane-penetrant interactions are dominant features determining technical utility as will also be considered briefly. Finally, scalability — the capability to efficiently and economically pack membranes into practical modules is a unifying critical feature that overarches all of the above areas in our community.  This overarching feature will also be considered in the context of membrane materials screening for new applications. 

About the speaker:

   Dr. William J. Koros served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Membrane Science for 17 years from 1991-2008. He is currently Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the Journal of Membrane Science. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000 and was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2002 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2003.  In 2008, Dr. Koros received the Alan S. Michaels Award for Innovation in Membrane Science and Technology from the North American Membrane Society.   He also received the William H. Walker Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Publications in 2010 and served as the 63rd Institute Lecturer for the AICHE in 2011.  In 2016, Dr. Koros was selected as one of the five inaugural Fellows of the North American Membrane Society.  He has 32 US patents and more than 440 refereed publications with over 22,000 ISI Web of Science citations and an h-index of 82. See

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