Catalytic self-pumping membranes for water treatment

Interdisciplinary Areas: Micro-, Nano-, and Quantum Engineering, Power, Energy, and the Environment

Project Description

Access to safe and high quality water remains one of the only “grand challenges” whose issues are getting worse, not better. There is an urgent need to develop off-grid low-cost gray water (such as bath water, rainwater) reuse technologies for the underdeveloped regions of the world. To destroy a wide-range of hazardous contaminants, reactive process are essential, and often use electrodes or consumed chemical inputs. These are standard in water treatment plants, where they are called Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP’s), but have scarcely been used at small scales. In this project, we have developed a new platform for water treatment; self pumping membranes, powered by inputs to standard AOP processes. These have the potential for not only improved degradation of hazardous compounds, but selective control of what goes through a pore. This latter capability could open up the micro and nano-scale control that today only biological cells can do. This work has many open research questions, spanning the fundamental physics to research applications. Collaborators include Prof’s Shweta Singh, Ernest Blatchley, Jeff Moran, Thomas Beechem, and others.

Start Date

Summer 2022

Postdoctoral Qualifications

Postdocs should have modeling and experimental skills, such as Multiphysics software. Exceptional writing and publication abilities are expected. Interest in sustainability is important.


David Warsinger
Shweta Singh

Outside Collaborators

Prof. Jeff Moran


Jun, I.K. and Hess, H., 2010. A Biomimetic, Self‐Pumping Membrane. Advanced Materials, 22(43), pp.4823-4825.
Warsinger, D.M., Chakraborty, S., Tow, E.W., Plumlee, M.H., Bellona, C., Loutatidou, S., Karimi, L., Mikelonis, A.M., Achilli, A., Ghassemi, A. and Padhye, L.P., 2018. A review of polymeric membranes and processes for potable water reuse. Progress in polymer science, 81, pp.209-237.