Advanced Membranes

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Ultrafiltration. We have successfully fabricated a high-flux defect-free ultrafiltration membrane using poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) blending with its derivative copolymer backbone that was grafted with poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PEGMA) (PVDF-g-PEGMA). The flux can reach up to 5170 (L/m2 h bar), and the total organic carbon (TOC) of sodium alginate removal efficiencies of PVDF membranes with 10 wt.%, and 15 wt.% PVDF-g-PEGMA are 90.97%, and 87.19%, respectively. These defect-free high-performance membranes show good potential for water treatment applications. Interestingly, the formed membrane has a periodic nodular structure on the membrane surface. 

High-Performance Defect-Free UF Membrane Fabrications and Applications 

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NF/RO. NF/RO membranes have many excellent applications (e.g., removing ions and organic matter, but their relatively high cost limits their application. In recent years, we have paid substantial attention to reducing the cost of NF/RO membranes by improving the performance. High-performance NF/RO membranes were fabricated using interfacial polymerization (IP) methods. The polymer concentration, IP solution concentration, and thermal treatment conditions were optimized.

Reverse Osmosis Membrane Fabrications and Applications for Ions Removal

Green Solvent Membranes. Large-scale membrane fabrication currently relies on the use of traditional solvents, such as N, N-dimethylacetamide, 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone, and dimethylformamide. These solvents are toxic, slowly biodegradable and combustible, posing risks to human health and the environment, and requiring careful safety procedures. Replacing traditional solvents with green solvents while maintaining or improving membrane performance is a challenging task at the forefront of research and development in the field of membrane technology. Our research interests are developing sustainable and green membranes.

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Green Solvent Membranes Fabrications and Applications

Cartoon Video of Green Solvent Membranes

Shale Gas Wastewater Reuse and Resource Recovery

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SGW. Hydraulic fracturing used in the extraction of shale gas requires large volume of water and generates vast quantities of highly contaminated wastewater, i.e., flowback and produced water (FPW). It is estimated that 577-4217 million m3 of freshwater will be required by this industry in 2030 and the volume of FPW will reach up to 499-3585 million m3. Thus, shale gas and oil extraction may pose a threat to local water supply, especially for the regions that are under high or severe water stress. 

Sustainable Shale Gas Flowback and Produced Water (SGFPW) Reuse

CCTV Video of Shale Gas Exploration

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Sustainable Chemistry

Membrane Separations for Water Reuse

Water-Energy Nexus

Salinity Gradient Power

Blue Energy

Shale Gas Flowback and Produced Water Reuse

Membrane Materials

Water Reuse

Baicang Liu Group Introduction

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