438703 Development of Novel Poly(Ionic Liquid) Membranes for Electrodialytic Separations and Desalination

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Alexander Lopez, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO

Novel energy and water recovery systems are crucial to meeting global water and energy demands. Research on ionic liquids have demonstrated unique chemical and physical properties, and significant work on their use has resulted in advances for water and energy applications, making these chemicals ideal for the development of novel membrane systems. Specifically, electrodialysis and electrodeionization are mature membrane technologies that can be improved substantially through the use of ionic liquids in ion exchange membranes. My research will focus on the development of water production and recovery through electrodialytic desalination systems as well as improved ion separations through ionic liquid supported membrane synthesis. I will create novel ion-exchange membranes using polymerized ionic liquids (i.e. poly(ionic liquid)) composites for improved ion permeability and selectivity with good membrane mechanical properties and tunability. I will investigate the transport properties and molecular interactions expressed by ionic liquid/solvent systems and their applicability in electrochemical applications. Synthesized membranes will be tested for ionic properties as well as chemical and mechanical stability. Previous work has shown that ionic liquid impregnated membranes can operate at high ion conductivities (> 10-3 S/cm) and high temperatures (> 80 °C). Synthesized membranes will operate at these performance levels with tuned characteristics for high selectivity and ion exchange capacity, leading to substantial cost and energy savings compared to current state-of-the-art. For energy reduction in the separations industry, I will develop novel membranes for improved industrial separations with a focus on specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals containing ionic groups. Through my work, I plan to foster scientific debate and progress, higher education, and academic/industrial collaborations.

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