380028 Development of Microporous Membranes and Thin Films for Energy and Environmental Systems
My research interest is in the areas of inorganic membranes and thin films of nanostructure, particularly the nanoporous zeolites and zeolite membranes. I have focused on developing methodologies for synthesizing materials of desired microstructure and chemical composition and understanding the materials’ structure-property relationships. My research has been particularly concentrated on the ceramic membranes for chemical separations and catalytic reactions with direct applications in the emerging clean energy technologies and environmental management systems.
During my PhD program, I have been involved to develop a new method of controlled modification of zeolite pore structure that can make the membrane for simultaneously achieving high selectivity and high permeance in the separation of similarly-sized small molecules such as H2/CO2. The modified zeolite membrane was able to realize the long-anticipated zeolite membrane reactor for high-temperature catalytic reactions for the pre-combustion CO2 capture and H2 production from fossil fuels and biomass. I have successfully established and validated a one-dimension model to simulate the membrane reaction performance beyond the experimental conditions. In my post-doctoral study, I have continued to work on the development of gas separation membranes and membrane reactor systems for major commercial applications in catalysis, adsorption, and ion exchange. In addition, I have been involved to validate the modeling works by obtaining experimental data via synthesis, characterization and evaluation of nanoporous ceramic membranes.
Based on my knowledge of membranes/catalysts, instrumentation design, and reaction modeling, my future research will focus on the fundamental issues including synthesis of novel materials and membranes and understanding their structure-property-performance relationships. Also, by developing innovative materials/membranes associated with clean and sustainable energy technologies, I am going to establish strong research for studying molecular transport, diffusion, gas-solid reaction mechanisms in the nanostructured materials and thin films.