New effective membrane for oil-water separation

Steven and Yaozhong
L-R: Steven Diao and Yaozhong Zhang

Steven Diao (MEng student) and Yaozhong Zhang (PhD student), supervised by Professor Ramin Farnood, have been working on an innovative project titled, Green and Safer Fabrication Method of PTFE Ultrafine Fiber Membrane for Efficient Oil-Water Separation.

“Our new membrane could be employed in various sectors, such as gas separation, membrane distillation, and biological applications. It may also be utilized in oil recovery techniques to mitigate the environmental effect of oil spills, purify produced water created during oil drilling activities, and potentially reuse the recovered oil,” says Steven.

In their project, they propose and execute an alternative approach to fabricate PTFE membrane. Compared to traditional methods, their approach uses less energy input, includes a simplified fabrication setup, and results in a more controllable final product with high performance in oil-water separation. Additionally, their membrane fabrication is more versatile in compositing different material to achieve synergies.

On March 21, the pair presented their research at the 58th Central Canadian Symposium on Water Quality Research at York University organized by the Canadian Water Quality Association. They are thankful for the opportunity to share how their research has the potential to develop more sustainable solutions for numerous businesses, reduce energy consumption, and positively influence the environment.