University of Connecticut
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Live broadcast available:
In this talk, we present a brief history of polymer membrane manufacturing which has changed little in the past 4 decades. This stagnation has limited the ability to implement a bevy of new materials that have emerged with the potential to change the separations field. Additive manufacturing may enable the use of new materials to make membranes with unprecedented properties while also offering a degree of customization that is impossible with traditional manufacturing techniques. We present a new additive manufacturing approach that uses electrospray printing to make ultra-thin film membranes that are supported by porous supports. These thin film composite membranes can be made from any solution processable polymer and enable the formation of high performance membranes from a number of emergent membrane materials intended for use in liquid and gas separations. We provide examples of several non-traditional polymers being processed into membranes with our approach.
Dr. Jeffrey McCutcheon is a Professor in the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Yale University. For nearly 20 years, he has pioneered work in membrane based separations technologies. He has raised over $10M to support research in the areas of forward osmosis, membrane distillation, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, pervaporation, vapor permeation, organic solvent nanofiltration and additive manufacturing for membranes. He has published over 90 refereed publications, written 3 book chapters, and has several patents on membrane technology. He has served the separations community as a Director for both the AIChE Separations Division and the North American Membrane Society (NAMS) and recently served as President of NAMS. He has received numerous awards including the 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, the Solvay Advanced Polymers Young Faculty Award, The DuPont Young Faculty Award, and the FRI/John G. Kunesh Award from the AIChE Separations Division. He recently was the winner of the 2019 Global Water Summit Water Technology Idol competition for his work on 3D printed membranes and was named a quarter- and semi-finalist of the American Made Challenges Solar Desalination Prize from the Department of Energy for his work on ceramic membranes for solar-driven membrane distillation. He was inducted into the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in 2021. In 2017, he was named the Executive Director of Fraunhofer USA Center for Energy Innovation and served for 3 years before taking the Center to its now independent status as the Connecticut Center for Applied Separations Technologies (CCAST). CCAST is dedicated to applied research in the membrane technology and separations space and is charged to interact directly with industries in need of solutions to separations challenges.