The Bioprocessing Separations Consortium has the capability to develop separations materials including functionalized membranes, adsorbent materials with unique physical properties, biosorbents, polymer resins and to develop advanced solvents.Furthermore, advanced materials characterization capabilities lend insight into how material development conditions, material composition, and other factors influence structure that drives performance.
Consortium members develop tailored membranes for different separations applications. Membrane technologies include high-throughput membranes, seeding and growth systems applied to inorganic membranes, and electrochemical membranes.
- Inorganic Membranes: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s membrane seeding and growth system can be used to produce inorganic novel membrane prototypes up to 13 cm x 13 cm in size for subsequent evaluation.
- High Flux Membranes: Oak Ridge National Laboratory develops a new class of surface-engineered (superhydrophobic or superhydrophilic) nano/meso/micro-porous membranes that can be tailored for high permeation flux, high selectivity, and anti-fouling separations performance. Ceramic/metallic dense or nanoporous membranes are also fabricated for gas-phase or liquid phase separations (pervaporations or filtrations).
Adsorbents & Absorbents
Consortium members have the capability to produce sorbents in both batch and continuous modes from many different materials that can be tailored to specific separations applications. Furthermore, functionalized nanoparticles can be produced to adsorb toxins or products of interest.
- Advanced Sorbent Development and Scale-up: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has both batch and continuous processing technologies for producing test quantities of new advanced sorbent materials, including advanced zeolites and custom metal organic framework compositions.
- Inorganic Sorbents: Oak Ridge National Laboratory has unique and diverse experience in synthesizing and evaluating inorganic sorbent beads(of nanoporous oxides), molecular sieves, polymer and functionalized resins, and biosorbents.
- Functionalized nano-sorbents: Argonne produces and evaluates functionalized nano-sorbents tailored to remove toxins or desired products from fermentation broth.
Water lean solvents under development at Consortium member facilities reduce vaporization and sensible heat duties compared to conventional solvents.
- Advanced Separation Solvents: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed unique capabilities to create solvents with low projected energy requirements for CO2 and other gas separations.
Flagship facilities such as the Advanced Photon Source offer unmatched capabilities to characterize membranes after fabrication and after use.
- Membrane Autopsies: Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source can be used to characterize membrane structure and composition before and after use. In the latter case, failure mechanisms can be pinpointed leading to better design. In particular, these tools enable us to diagnose and predict, and ultimately prevent and control membrane biofouling
- Analytical PicoProbe: This ultra-high-resolution analytical scanning/transmission electron microscope provides high spatial resolution imaging and analysis of materials specimens
- Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS): This facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory can provide a suite of instrumental characterization capabilities via user proposals.