Revolutionary Membrane Tech Research

The University of Minnesota has been awarded a $1.8 million grant over three years from the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop revolutionary membrane technology that will enable energy-efficient separations in the chemical, petrochemical, water, fossil fuel, and renewable energy industries. When fully implemented, the technology could reduce U.S. energy consumption by as much as 3 percent.

Lead researcher and IPrime Coating Processing Fundamentals (CPF) faculty, Professor Michael Tsapatsis, published research last year about their discovery of a means for developing free-standing, ultra-thin zeolite nanosheets that as thin films can speed up the filtration process and require less energy. Science magazine named the research as one of the biggest breakthroughs of 2011.

The other members of the research team are Professor and IPrime Director Chris Macosko, and Professor Prodromos Daoutidis. The grant money will allow the team to scale up their research and move it closer to commercial applications.