From left to right: Brian Starr, Pejman Ahmadiannamini,
Ala Ahmadiannamini, Vlad Tarabara, Emily Tummons, Andrii Gorobets,
Claudio Calderon, Chris Crock, Miguel Herrera-Robledo, Hien
Dang, Bin Guo.
Not in the picture: Charifa Hejase, Hang Shi, Aaron Rosenwinkel
Our research is in the 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 understanding of 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 Amjad, H.;
Khan, Z.; Tarabara, V. V. Fractal structure and permeability
of membrane cake layers: Effect of coagulation-flocculation
and settling as pretreatment steps has been accepted
for publication in the Separation and Purification Technology
journal. We propose a simple method for estimating fractal
dimension of membrane cakes (D) based on permeate flux data
and Happel permeability model and show that D correlates with
the fractal dimension of flocs, D_floc. Financial support
for Hira Amjad's year-long stay at MSU was provided by a scholarship
from the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan under the
International Research Support Initiative Program and supplementary
funding from the National University of Sciences and Technology,
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)