The Nanostructured Polymeric Membranes Lab at KAUST develops new functionalized polymeric materials and applies concepts of solution thermodynamics, self-assembly and surface science to develop membranes for water purification, pharmaceutical and chemical industry and biological separations.
New polymeric materials under development in the NPM-Lab are being obtained by traditional polycondensation and different methods of controlled polymerization.
The development of advanced porous or dense polymeric materials with controlled morphology requires understanding the thermodynamics of solutions, the interactions between polymer segments and solvents, supramolecular assembly, kinetics of phase separation in the bulk and surface.
The main focus of the NPM-LAB is the manufacture of new membranes to be used in aqueous or organic solvent medium, using mainly materials synthesized in the group, in collaboration or a combination of commercial polymers.
While the main focus of the NPM-Lab is the material and membrane manufacture, applications have been explored in the group or in collaboration in water purification, ultrafiltration of proteins, forward osmosis (FO) and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), ultra and nanofiltration, pervaporation, membrane distillation, fouling resistant membranes for membrane bioreactors and bioelectrochemical processes. Furthermore a strong focus is the separation of solutes in organic solvent medium (relevant for pharmaceutical and chemical industry) and in harsh conditions.