311 Furnas Hall
Dr. Lin’s research group focuses on the study of advanced polymer-based membrane materials and processes for gas and vapor separation and water purification. As an energy efficient separation technology, membrane is an attractive alternative to conventional thermally driven and energy intensive separations in addressing critical challenges in the area of energy and sustainability. Our research projects are often composed of design and synthesis of new materials and characterization of material structure and transport properties, with an end goal of solving practical problems and advancing fundamental understanding of structure-property correlation. A selection of current projects is shown below.
CO2 Capture from Coal-Derived Power Plants. Growing evidence indicates that man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, principally CO2, are contributing to global climate change. The bulk of these CO2 emissions are caused by the combustion of fossil fuels for power production. One approach to controlling CO2 emissions to the atmosphere is to capture the CO2 from the postcombustion flue gas or the precombustion syngas at the power plants for utilization or sequestration. The key to enabling the sustainable power production is a technology that can capture CO2 from the mixtures with N2 and H2 at a low-cost and energy-efficient manner. We propose to molecularly design and engineer polymers with high CO2 permeability and high CO2/N2 and CO2/H2 selectivity or polymers with high H2 permeability and high H2/CO2 selectivity.
Membranes for Wastewater Reuse. Growing concerns over the environmental impact of the hydraulic fracturing of the oil and gas wells have prompted more stringent regulations and discharge limits on the waste management, especially for the wastewater. Forward osmosis (FO) has emerged as a potential sustainable way in recovering the water for further use. However, the current FO membranes are not economically viable due to their low water flux, caused by the high water transport resistance in the membrane porous structure. The objective of this program is to develop novel FO membranes with minimal internal concentration polarization in the porous structures, achieving high water flux.
Fluorinated Polymers for Membrane Gas Separation. Development of high performance polymer materials for energy efficient membrane separation is often hampered by their deteriorated separation performance when made into industrial thin film composite membranes operating in the presence of strongly plasticizing components such as heavy hydrocarbons. Recently, perfluoropolymers attract significant interests, because of their superior stability against aging and plasticization. The objective of this program is to develop a fundamental, molecular-based mechanistic understanding of the effect of fluorination on the polymer thin film stability against aging and hydrocarbon-induced plasticization, and apply the guidelines to design a new generation of high performance membrane polymers for practical CO2/CH4 and C3H6/C3H8 separations.
July 29 – August 4: 2017 International Congress on Membranes and Membrane Processes (ICOM), San Francisco, CA
Last Updated: July 2017