Our research is in the broadly defined area of water quality
engineering with an emphasis on membrane separation processes
and materials science of synthetic membranes. Our current projects
fall under one of three themes:
Virus removal and concentration.
To understand how viruses can be removed from water we work to
elucidate mechanisms of virus adhesion to surfaces. We use this knowledge to design membranes that can concentrate
viruses with high and reproducible recoveries. Such separations should
enable accurate quantification of viruses.
Removal of finely dispersed oil from water is often required to
meet environmental regulations. Unfortunately, the efficiency of status
quo separation technologies decreases dramatically with a
decrease in oil drop size. Membrane filtration can remove smaller
drops but membrane fouling by oil limits broader acceptance of
this technology. To overcome this limitation we seek mechanistic
how oil drops and films behave at membrane surfaces. Our secondary
interest is in cyclonic separations and hybrid technologies that
combine rotating flow and crossflow membrane filtration.
Functional membrane materials.
Historically, synthetic membranes have been developed to perform one
function - that of separation. Coupling separation with reactions can
bring about useful synergies from lower footprint to faster reactions
to improved separation efficiency. We are exploring how
nanomaterial-based functions can be introduced into polymeric and ceramic membrane
matrices and applied to enhance environmentally-relevant reactions.
Our paper on virus concentration has been
accepted for publication in the Journal of Membrane Science:
Pasco, E. V.; Shi, H.; Xagoraraki,
I.; Hashsham, S. A.; Parent, K. N.; Bruening, M. L.; Tarabara,
V. V. Polyelectrolyte multilayers as anti-adhesive membrane
coatings for virus concentration and recovery, J. Membr.
2014, 469, 140–150.
This is a collaboration with our MSU colleagues Merlin Bruening
(Chemistry), Syed Hashsham (Environmental Engineering), Irene
Xagoraraki (Environmental Engineering), and Kristin Parent
(Biochemistry and Molecular Biology).
Our paper on polymer mesocomposite membranes has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Membrane Science: Dulebohn,
J.; Ahmadiannamini, P.; Wang, T.; Kim, S.-S.; Pinnavaia, T. J.;
Tarabara, V. V. Polymer mesocomposites: Ultrafiltration membrane
materials with enhanced permeability, selectivity and fouling
J. Membr. Sci. 2014, 453,
478–488. This is a collaboration with Dr.
Thomas Pinnavaia's research group.
Our paper on the behavior of oil droplets
in the vicinity of a micropore is published in the Journal
of Membrane Science: Darvishzadeh,
T.; Tarabara, V. V.; Priezjev, N. V. Oil droplet behavior
at a pore entrance in the presence of crossfow: Implications
for microfiltration of oil-water dispersions. J. Membr.
Sci. 2013, 447, 442-451. This is a collaboration
Nikolai Priezjev's research group.
Cross-sectional profiles of an oil droplet residing on the circular pore of 0.5 micron diameter
for several values of the capillary number, Ca.
Our paper on graphene nanocomposite membranes
is now published: Crock, C. A.,
Rogensues, A. R., Shan, W., Tarabara, V. V. Polymer nanocomposites
with graphene-based hierarchical fillers as materials for
multifunctional water treatment membranes. Water Res.
2013, 47, 3984-3996
Our paper "Microsized particles of Aza222
polymer as a regenerable ultrahigh affinity sorbent for the
removal of mercury from aqueous solutions" is accepted for
publication in Separ. Purif. Technol. This is a collaboration
with Dr. Ned
Jackson's research group.
Adsorption isotherm for the mercury uptake by Aza222 sorbent
Aerial picture of MSU campus during spring
Red Cedar river on MSU campus during winter (photo courtesy
of MSU Photography Services)