Prof. Han Gang
Nankai University, China

Biography: Dr. Gang Han is a professor in the College of Environmental Science and Engineering of Nankai University, China. His research focuses on the molecular-level design, synthesis, and characterization of multi-scale pore/channel materials and engineering advanced devices for applications in molecular separations and environmental sustainability. Those efforts are promising for membrane- and adsorption-based separations for energy, resource, and water remediation. Prof. Han is a co-author of over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles with a Google Scholar h index of 33 and has been recognized with several awards, including the NAMS Student Fellowship and the Singapore Young Chemical Engineer of the Year Award presented by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). He was also selected as the 100 Young Academic Leader Program of Nankai University and the National Talents Program for Distinguished Young Scholars. Prof. Han earned his bachelor’s degree in applied chemistry from the Dalian University of Technology and his PhD in chemical engineering from the National University of Singapore (NUS) under the supervision of Prof. Tai-Shung Chung Neal. While at NUS, he developed structure-property relationships for water permeation through polymeric membranes driven by the osmotic pressure gradient. His postdoctoral training in Prof. Zachary Smith’s lab at MIT examined the design of metal-organic frameworks for selective membrane and adsorption-based separations.

Speech title "Controlling Interfacial Compatability to Enhance Selectivity of Thin-film Nanocomposite (TFN) Membranes for Water Separation"

Abstract-Efficient discrimination of ions and small neutral contaminants remains a challenge for polyamide thin-film nanocomposite (TFN) membranes due to the presence of interfacial defects and particle-agglomeration-induced nonselective voids in the polyamide thin film. In this work, we developed a generalizable method to control interfacial defects and particle agglomeration in polyamide TFN membranes. By manipulating the chemistry and nanoscale structures of the sub-40 nm MIL-101(Cr)-NH2 MOF filler particles at the filler–polyamide interface, high-performance TFN desalination membranes with high filler loadings and molecular level size-exclusion selectivity were successfully fabricated. The TFN membranes display a water permeance of 1.3 L m–2 h–1 bar–1, which is five times higher than that of the Dow SW30XLE commercial benchmark, and excellent NaCl, MgCl2, Na2SO4, and MgSO4 rejections of 98.5–99.6% at 150 psi. Compared to the TFC control, the incorporation of the MOF fillers yields a 53% and a 24.5% increase in water permeance and NaCl rejection, respectively. The TFN membranes also show excelled rejections to small neutral contaminants such as PEG200 (i.e., 99.2%) and boric acid (i.e., 89.0%) at a pH value of 7.5 at 150 psi, which is 6.0% and 30.9% higher than that obtained by the SW30XLE benchmark under the same conditions. The TFN membranes also showed outstanding long-term performance stability, which further demonstrates their potential for water purification applications. Our results provide a new and effective method to tailor interfacial defects and phase compatibility in inorganic-organic composite materials.









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