Research Scientist (Water Desalination) Candidate Seminar
Membrane Materials and Transport Studies for Sustainable Water, Energy and Life Sciences-Overcoming the emerging global scarcity of water, energy & other natural resources are grand challenges faced by humanity today.These critical resources are inextricably linked & therefore must be considered together as new technologies are developed. Essence new effective methods to produce water at low energetic & environmental costs are essential. Membrane & adsorption-based technologies promise to provide more efficient & economical separation solutions are then applicable at large scale for sustainable water & energy. Unveiling molecular behaviors & transport mechanisms across material interfaces is thus crucial. In this presentation, I will describe initial efforts in advancing membranes one of the key elements for these technologies & in unraveling their structure-performance relationships. Effective material building blocks having transport pathways ranging from macroporous to microporous length scales for different separation methods will be presented. The potential of leveraging scalable nanofiber-supported thin-film composite membranes with high water permeability & water/salt selectivity to harness salinity-gradient energy either for converting saline waters to fresh water (with forward osmosis) or for electricity generation (with pressure-ret
Postdoctoral Fellow, Former Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ngoc Bui’s research interests lie at the interface of advanced functional materials, transport phenomena, and energy-efficient integrated separation processes for sustainable water, energy and life sciences. At LBNL, she has studied advanced porous materials for selective ion capture from contaminated water with electrodialysis. Prior to LBNL, she was a postdoc fellow at the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LNNL). At LNNL, she joined a team striving to develop smart dynamic fabric materials that can sense and protectively respond to chemical and biological agents for protective clothing. Dr. Bui earned her PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Connecticut under the advisement of Prof. Jeffrey McCutcheon. Her PhD research focused on pioneering the development of a new and effective generation of nanofiber-supported thin film composite membrane platform for sustainable water and energy production by harnessing salinity-gradient energy via osmotically-driven membrane processes. Her work also focused on developing as thorough a mathematical transport model as possible to deconvolute all mass transfer resistances in water and solute transport across the membrane, offering opportunities for better predictive models and advanced membrane and system designs with precise control to be proposed.