Dr. Sarupria and her fellow researchers at Clemson in collaboration with Dr. Ilenia Battiato at San Diego State University were awarded a $1.2 million ($970K to Clemson) DMREF research grant from NSF entitled “DMREF: An integrated multiscale modeling and experimental approach to design fouling-resistant membranes.”
The research team at Clemson includes Drs. Sarupria, Scott Husson (Chemical Engineering), and David Ladner (Environmental Engineering). Dr. Sarupria will provide the molecular modeling expertise, Dr. Husson is an expert in membrane design and synthesis, and Dr. Ladner is an expert on membrane based water treatment processes.
The project addresses a grand challenge facing society today — how to make clean water available to a growing population at low cost. Membranes used in water treatment processes are exposed to feed waters containing organic, inorganic, and biological species, which lead to fouling and loss of membrane productivity over time. Fouling propensity of a membrane depends greatly on its surface properties such as chemistry and morphology. The goal of this project is to develop the multiscale mathematical framework to predict fouling behavior on the surfaces of membranes with different geometric patterns and chemical coatings. The ability to predict fouling properties of new membrane surfaces in silico will accelerate the discovery of novel membrane designs and decrease the time from lab- to-market.
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