My project is to create hybrid organic-inorganic membranes with greater stabilities at high temperatures and/or with organic solvents. To reduce the energy consumption and associated emissions from industrial thermal chemical separations, switching to membrane separations could reduce energy required by up to 90%. However, commercially available membranes are unstable in many industrial applications. To produce more resilient membranes, I am exploring the use of vapor phase infiltration (VPI) to enhance stabilities of separation membranes and enable its integration into current industrial manufacturing processes without the need for significant changes. My goal is to develop new VPI process chemistries and test properties of the synthesized hybrid membranes. More specifically, this project focuses on producing and testing the mechanical properties of flexible hybrid membranes with novel infiltration of polysilane.
Advisor: David Bergsman – Chemical Engineering