Wen's Research Group
Phone: (973) 596-5520
Fax: (973) 596-5790
Office Location: Colton Hall 211
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Dr. Wen Zhang recently received an NSF grant (award ID: 2025374) with the Project title of Interfacially Engineered Membranes for Simultaneous Microwave Catalysis and Liquid Filtration from the Interfacial Engineering Program from the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems Division (CBET).
Traditional membrane filtration technology suffers from membrane fouling due to foulant layer accumulation, concentration polarization or pores clogging. Moreover, inadequate removal of trace-level, small molecular weight and recalcitrant organic pollutants is also a long-unresolved challenge for membrane filtration. This project will develop a novel microwave-assisted membrane filtration process that is designed to improve filtration performance, enhance pollutant degradation and mitigate membrane fouling. The project’s research will support manufacturing of smart functional membrane systems for sustainable water and chemical treatment or purification via this novel microwave-catalytic membrane filtration.
This novel microwave-assisted membrane filtration process incorporates microwave catalysis into the membrane filtration process. The microwave could effectively and uniformly penetrate membrane matrix and energize microwave-responsive catalysts to produce reactive radicals that facilitate pollutant degradation and fouling mitigation. Moreover, absorption of microwave could cause rapid water vaporization and interfacial nanobubbling, which also enhances antifouling capability via a chemical-free process and reduces the membrane fouling potency. Functionalized membrane fabrication, stability, reactivity, and fundamental mechanisms such as formation kinetics of nanobubbles and radicals, pollutant degradation efficiency, and antifouling performances will be rigorously investigated with a suite of candidate catalysts and membrane materials or types from ceramic to polymer and from flat sheet to spiral hollow fibers. The ultimate goals of the project are to transform passive membrane filtration to the next-generation reactive membranes that can proactively degrade water contaminants and prevent surface fouling, and to enable novel membrane processes in chemical conversion and/or separation.
Jun. 2021: Professor Wen Zhang was invited to report for RCR seminar about seeking sustainable pathways for spend lithium-ion batteries.
Explore the Nano World
Feb. 2021: Congratulations!
Fangzhou Liu received the Modern-day Techonology Leader Award at the 2021 BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference.
Feb. 2021: Congratulations!
CEE PhD student, Xiaonan Shi, received the 2020 Graduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry (ENVR) Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS)