Imperial College London

SynFabFun project launch unites researchers from leading UK universities

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Researchers network at the launch

SynFabFun or 'From membrane material synthesis to fabrication and function' is a 4.5 million pound project to address membrane technology challenges.

The programme, centred at Newcastle University and headed by Professor Ian Metcalfe will bring together researchers from Imperial College, University of Bath, University of Edinburgh and The University of Manchester. The main aim of the programme will be to reorient the conversation around membrane technology to focus more on sustainable and stable performance and shift away from the race towards higher initial permeability. The goal will be to develop membranes with much longer shelf life that can work just as efficiently in industrial applications.

Our modern societies use membranes to refine anything from water to oil and yet the underlying structures of these membranes have largely been unchanged for decades, leading to inefficiencies

– Professor Andrew Livingston

Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering

Professors Kang Li and Andrew Livingston will spearhead one of the projects, a £1.5 million initiative to develop novel polymers and ceramics that are more porous at the nanoscale. These will be used in membranes which do not deteriorate at the same rate as conventional ones and thus provide greater energy efficiency for a much longer period of time.

The launch event was held over two days in December at Queen’s Gate near Imperial College London and featured talks and discussions from participating researchers and a simple yet revealing demonstration from Imperial scientists of a bicycle powered filtration system to highlight the benefits of adopting cutting edge membrane technology.

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SynFabFun is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Click through the slideshow below for more pictures from the event.

 

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*All quotes from an earlier article on the announcement of SynFabFun.

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Mikhail Menezes

Mikhail Menezes
Department of Chemical Engineering

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Michael Panagopulos

Michael Panagopulos
Department of Chemical Engineering

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