475710 Membranes for Liquid and Gas Separations

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Continental 4 & 5 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Oishi Sanyal, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Membranes for liquid and gas separations


Oishi Sanyal

1st year Postdoctoral Researcher

Georgia Tech

Research Interests:  

My broad research interest lies in the area of membrane design with an equal focus on both liquid and gas separations. For both liquid and gas feeds, membrane material selection plays a key role in engineering more energy efficient separations based on environmentally benign and energy efficient processes. Conventional thermally driven techniques like distillation have dominated large scale industrial separations; however, membrane-based processes are emerging to replace or debottleneck conventional techniques.

In the water industry, reverse osmosis and nanofiltration are already dominant for desalination and wastewater purification. The major challenge faced by water treatment membranes is their fouling propensity, and I am specifically interested in working on membrane modification techniques to lower fouling tendencies of commercial membranes.In the area of gas separation, I am primarily focused on creating membranes using advanced materials to surpass the current performance “upper bound” for polymeric membranes. Such membranes pose many opportunities for applications such as olefin-paraffin separation, natural gas and flue gas separations.

Teaching Interests:

Having done both my undergraduate and graduate studies in chemical engineering, I am familiar with the usual chemical engineering courses. Specifically, I would be interested in teaching courses like Mass Transfer, Transport Phenomena and Reaction Engineering. I would also like to offer a graduate level course on membrane separations as I personally benefited a lot from a similar course taught during my graduate school. I believe I will also be comfortable in teaching some environmental engineering courses or some electives related to environmental engineering. 

Postdoctoral project: Understanding the engineering fundamentals of carbon molecular sieve (CMS) membranes Advisor: Prof. William J. Koros; School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

PhD Dissertation: Design of polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) membranes for ion rejection and wastewater effluent treatment

Advisor: Prof. Ilsoon Lee; Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.

Research experience:

Through my PhD and postdoctoral research, I have gained experience in water treatment and gas separation membranes. For my doctoral research, I worked on the surface modification of membranes using layer-by-layer technology to form polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) membranes. In collaboration with another research group in MSU, we extended the usual application of PEM membranes from specific ion rejection to treating a real wastewater effluent. My postdoctoral research focuses on designing asymmetric carbon-molecular sieve (CMS) fibers for advanced gas separation applications. These CMS membranes are produced via controlled high temperature pyrolysis of polyimide hollow fiber polymer precursors. My specific project is about the fundamentals of CMS formation and the effects of different pyrolysis parameters on final separation performance for different gas-pairs.

Teaching experience

During my PhD, I worked as a Teaching Assistant for the course on Transport Phenomena. I was responsible for grading assignments and tests as well as preparing solutions for the same. I hope to further my teaching experience during my stay at Georgia Tech. During my years as a PhD student, I had the opportunity to mentor 5 undergraduate students to perform research in the lab.

Future direction

As a faculty member, I will continue working in the area of membrane-based separation. In the water-treatment area, I will focus on membrane modification but more importantly, I will evaluate the performance of modified membranes under “real” conditions, to extend my doctoral research. Besides traditional water purification, I am interested in other liquid-based separations where the potential of membranes has not been explored in great detail. In the area of gas separation, I will continue my efforts in developing membranes for important separations in the chemical/petrochemical industries like olefin-paraffin mixtures and xylene isomers etc. which are conventionally carried out by highly energy-intensive separation methods.

Selected Publications

  1. Sanyal, O.; Liu, Z.; Yu, J; Meharg, B. M.; Hong J. S; Liao, W.; Lee, I. “ Design of fouling-resistant clay-embedded polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes for wastewater effluent treatment,” Journal of Membrane Science, 512, 21-28, (2016).
  2. Sanyal, O.; Liu, Z.; Meharg, B. M.; Liao, W.; Lee, I. "Development of polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes to reduce the COD level of electrocoagulation treated high-strength wastewater,” Journal of Membrane Science, 496, 259-266, (2015).
  3. Sanyal, O.; Sommerfeld, A.N.; Lee, I. "Design of ultrathin nanostructured polyelectrolyte-based membranes with high perchlorate rejection and high permeability," Separation and Purification Technology 145, 113-119, (2015).
  4. Sanyal, O.; Lee, I. "Recent progress in the application of layer-by-layer assembly to the preparation of nanostructured ion-rejecting water purification membranes," Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 14, 2178-2189, (2014). (review)

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