Clean Water/Water Recycling

The Li Research Group in the Department of Chemical Engineering designed a new membrane that is more efficient, stronger and more cost-effective at filtering water, with the new membrane 15 times more efficient than current industry equivalents. Their work will help improve the financial feasibility of implementing membrane-based water filtration plants in parts of the globe in dire need of them.  The study High-performance PVDF membranes prepared by the combined crystallisation and diffusion  (CCD) method using a dual-casting technique: a breakthrough for water treatment applications’ by Shah et al., was published in Energy & Environmental Science.

Natural filtration by willow trees could be the answer to a growing waste problem, producing clean water, renewable biofuels and 'green' chemicals. Researchers have found a way to stem the flow of municipal wastewater by filtering the waste through the roots of willow trees. The integration of wastewater phytofiltration and biomass production within a willow plantation extends this environmental utility with potential economic and social benefits. The study 'Biorefinery potential of sustainable municipal wastewater treatment using fast-growing willow' was published in Science of the Total Environment. 

Professor Nick Voulvoulis at the Centre for Environmental Policy has won a NERC funded project on Defining the AMR Burden of Antimicrobial Manufacturing Waste as the PI. The collaborative project will assess the role of antibiotics manufacturing in Chennai and Puducherry (India) as a source of antimicrobial resistance in the environment.

Early laboratory research by Professor Wendy Barclay’s team in the Department of Infectious Disease has found mixing SARS-CoV-2 with chlorinated pool water can deactivate the virus, rendering it unable to infect cells.


Biogas emissions could risk Net Zero targets

Smart design of new materials could improve energy storage technologies

Understanding new gen materials for low cost hydrogen from sunlight and water



Man hole Metrics

A new start up founded by a Civil Engineering student has developed a device which would fix to the underside of existing manhole covers, allowing for remote monitoring of the sewage network and collection of data. Providers would then be alerted as to when a routine intervention should take place. This won the Mayor of London 2021 Tech award for technological innovations to help make London a better place to live and work. 

Surface Engineered Sponges

An oil-catching sponge, developed at the University of Toronto and Imperial College London could help thwart water contamination from offshore oil drilling. Further research is being done to investigate how the sponges could also remove bacteria from saltwater.

New membrane technology to boost water purification and energy storage

Imperial College London scientists have created a new type of membrane technology that could improve both water purification and battery energy storage efforts.



The hydrogen economy: A pragmatic path forward Oct 2021

Integrated Modelling to Support Analysis of COVID-19 Impacts on London's Water System and In-river Water Quality July 2021

A systems-based approach to catchment water management May 2021

A highly efficient multi-step methodology for the quantification of micro-(bio)plastics in sludge Nov 2020

Chemical Pollution of the Aquatic Environment and Health Oct 2020

The role of water reuse in the circular economy Aug 2020

Surface-engineered sponges for recovery of crude oil microdroplets from wastewater Dec 2019 

Climate Change and the human-made water cycle: Implications for the UK Water Sector Dec 2019


  • Science and engineering innovations as part of interdisciplinary approaches to preventing neglected tropical diseases. The presentation will summarise the outcomes of the ‘WISER’ project, which stands for ‘Water Infrastructure for Schistosomiasis Endemic Regions.’ Specific outcomes of the project included new biosensors for detecting the parasite in water samples in the field using cutting edge synthetic biology, new information on the ability of water treatment methods such as chlorination, UV disinfection, and filtration to kill or remove the parasite from water, and new techniques for communicating important messages to community members about disease transmission pathways and how to protect themselves. Mar 29th 2022 16.00-17.00
  • Imperial College London at COP26
  • Webinar: Evaluating alternatives to plastic microbeads in cosmetics. In light of the scientific evidence regarding the fate, persistence and toxicity of microplastics in the marine environment, many countries have banned the sale of rinse-off cosmetics containing plastic microbeads to prevent their release to the environment. In this study, we use life cycle assessment to compare the environmental performance of a wide range of potential alternatives. Thursday 21st October 2021, 12.30-13.30 

    Past events


Communications and Networks

podcast with The Centre for Environmental Policy’s Professor Jim Skea Co-Chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) and The Grantham’s Institute’s Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation discuss net zero carbon by 2050.

For more 'Low Carbon Conversations' see the Energy Future Labs Podcast series, Imperial’s global energy institute. 

The H2FC SUPERGEN Hub is managed by a leading Imperial professor and seven other UK universities. It links academia to industry, informs policy and builds networks. 

The Institute of Molecular Science and Engineering - You can watch our annual lecture, highlight seminars, and all our webinars on antimicrobial resistance, greener plastic future and next generation batteries on our YouTube channel

The Global Development Hub was launched by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, Ms Amina J. Mohammed, on April 29 2021. You can view a recording of the launch event here