A membrane functions as a filter, allowing certain substances to pass through, while removing others. Membranes are powerful because they can be designed to target and selectively separate undesired substances from liquid materials. For example, membranes with larger pore sizes are capable of removing large particles like sand, pollen, and human hair, while membranes with smaller, nano-scale pores are able to remove bacteria and viruses.
We believe that some of the best engineering can be found in nature. That’s why we’re working to leverage bio-inspired design to develop multifunctional, low-fouling, responsive, reactive, and selective membranes.
At Kentucky NSF EPSCoR, our mission is to develop multifunctional bio-inspired membrane technology capable of assisting in environmental remediation, liquid purification, and conversion to promote the bioeconomy.
We will focus on the synthesis, fabrication, and scale-up aspects associated with the development of novel bio-inspired membrane technologies.
We will explore the possible separation applications using multifunctional nano composite membranes. Examples include separation of lignocellulose-derived products such as glucose, xylose, cellobiose, vanillyl alcohol, vanillin, and phenolics; environmental remediation.
We will construct membranes with protein channels that provide high flux and selectivity based on molecular size and charge. Examples include molecular engineering of protein channels for site-specific and directional immobilization; membrane flux and separation selectivity characterization.
We will develop single and multi-enzyme immobilized membranes capable of rendering value-added products and water remediation.