ChE Seminar: Adsorption-Based Separation: Current Challenges and Future Opportunities


9:15 am-10:15 am
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Room 201, Engineering Building (NEB)
1064 Center Drive
Gainesville , FL 32611


Fateme Rezaei, Ph.D.
Linda and Bipin Doshi Associate Professor
Department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Title: Adsorption-Based Separation: Current Challenges and Future Opportunities

Abstract: The majority of legacy separation and purification systems rely on thermally driven phase changes under cryogenic conditions and therefore are inherently energy intensive. In addition, their operation relies on hydrocarbon sources and therefore produces a large amount of greenhouse gases. As we make transition to a clean-energy and clean-electricity future over the next 30 years, we need to reduce the dependency of chemical separations to thermally driven processes. Advanced separation units that make use of membrane or adsorption processes can offer a more efficient alternative to the existing separation systems, largely because many of these systems avoid the need to input thermal energy to achieve phase changes. Unfortunately, there are many issues that must be resolved before new non-thermal separations applications can be developed as we develop negative emission technologies for a sustainable future. In particular, with regards to adsorption, recent advances in materials design and discovery have resulted in development of promising materials for various separation processes. Despite such advances, critical challenges remain for the separations community to confront. The primary key challenges facing adsorptive separation include the lack of fundamental understanding of competitive/cooperative effects that can dramatically influence selectivity, capacity, and throughput in complex mixtures; the lack of a thorough understanding of temporal changes that sorbent materials undergo through many separation cycles; and scale-up. In this talk, I will discuss the gaps and challenges of adsorptive separation in more detail, followed by a brief discussion on some of our research projects that have been conducted in the past few years to tackle these aforementioned issues.

Bio: Dr. Rezaei is an Endowed Associate Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Missouri S&T. She obtained her PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from Monash University in Australia and LTU in Sweden in 2011. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech before she joined Missouri S&T in 2014. Her research focus broadly lies at the interface of chemical, materials science and environmental engineering, and the overall goal of her research group is development of advanced materials and processes for separation, purification, and storage applications. She is the author of over 130 peer-reviewed journal articles and has received several awards including 2021 ACS Women Chemists Committee (WCC) Rising Star Award; 2020 UM System president’s Award for Career Excellence-Early Career; 2018 Energy & Fuels Award for Excellence in Publication; as well as 2021 and 2018 Missouri S&T Faculty Research Award. She is the Associate Editor of ACS Energy & Fuels journal and editorial member of Journal of CO2 Utilization and Frontiers in Energy Research.


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