The main research ares in the Membrane Center are listed below, with some topics having links to other sites. [under construction]
Current research focus areas
x-MBRs. Membrane bioreactors are increasingly being used to treat domestic and other types of wastewaters. In the Logan Lab we are examining the use of anaerobic fluidized membrane bioreactors (AFMBRs) as a method to treat microbial fuel cell effluent to levels needed for safe discharge or water reuse.
Salinity Gradient Energy (SGE) and Thermally Batteries. Energy can be harvested from salinity differences between fresh water and seawater using several different types of SGE technologies. Similar or different approaches can be used to harvest waste heat using thermally regenerative batteries. In the Logan Lab we are examining power generation using existing and new types of ion exchange membrane-based processes. This title for this topic takes you to the page on this website, but due to the volume of the material on this topic, a separate website has been set up that can be accessed using this link.
Plasmid DNA Purification: There is growing interest in use of the plasmid DNA for gene therapy applications, e.g., to replace a genetic disorder characterized by a malfunctioning gene, or as a highly effective vaccine. However, there is a critical need to develop improved methods for the downstream purification of these plasmids from the cell culture media. Research in the Zydney Lab has demonstrated that DNA separations can be accomplished using ultrafiltration based on elongation of the DNA in the converging flow field entering the membrane pores. Ongoing work is focused on enhancing the selectivity of the separation and reducing membrane fouling, both of which are critical issues in the development of successful membrane processes for DNA purification.