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Membrane Technologies Toward Resolving the Energy-Water Nexus

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Energy and water are key geopolitical issues. Separately the issues are well known; The search for new sources of energy, that have less impact on environmental climate change; Equally, identifying ways to mitigate the effects of rapid consumption and pollution of a diminishing resource, potable fresh water. Less well known is the connectivity of these two issues, which is simply related to the fact that it requires energy to generate clean water, and a significant amount of fresh water is required for non-drinking purposes.

I will be discussing the possibilities, and practicalities of future membrane technologies to address both the issue of water and energy-related emissions, giving a broad overview of the basics of the field of membrane technology whilst highlighting recent work in our own group, in the development of high performance polymeric and nanocomposite membranes.

Brief Resume.

Until 2013, Dr. Sivaniah (MEng, Imperial College, PhD Cambridge University) led a research group at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University. Currently he is associate Professor at iCeMS (Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), Kyoto University. His research group presently focuses on development of membrane technologies using fundamental physical principles and novel materials chemistry. Dr. Sivaniah also participates in translation, by establishing a fluid interface to scale-up and commercial enterprise.

Relevant publications.

Song et al. Controlled thermal oxidative crosslinking of polymers of intrinsic microporsity for tunable molecular sieve membranes, Nature Communications. 5, Article number: 4813 (2014)

Song et al. Photo-oxidative enhancement of polymeric molecular sieve membranes. Nature Communications. 4, Article number: 1918 (2013).

Zavala-Rivera et al. ‘Collective osmotic shock in ordered materials’ Nature Materials 11, p.53 (2012)

This talk is part of the Optoelectronics Group series.

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