Inorganic Membranes

Adsorption of water, oil, and surfactants at membrane interfaces
In the oil & gas industry, there is an incentive to separate water from oil, allowing for discharge of the water, or re-use in Improved or Enhanced Oil Recovery. For the separation of oil-water mixtures, both hydrophilic and hydrophobic membranes have been tested. Whereas interesting membranes have been identified as candidates for this separation, the mechanism behind the oil-water separation is poorly understood.

In this project, the student will analyze the adsorption of water, oil and surfactants at the membrane surface. This knowledge will aid towards the formation of a descriptive model for the performance of membranes in oil-water separations. The adsorption effects will be studied by several techniques, including ellipsometry and a quartz-crystal microbalance.

The students will map the behaviour of the different species under different conditions, such as flow rate, temperature, and concentration. Because part of the equipment is rather new on the IM-labs, the project will have an explorative character, allowing freedom for the student to design his/her own research path. Because of this, the project can be formulated more practical or more theoretical, and the focus area can be found in the field of transport phenomena, kinetics, or solid-liquid interactions.

For further information, contact:

Patrick de Wit

PhD candidate
Meander 236B

+31 53 489 2998

Nieck Benes

Meander 329

+31 53 489 4288