Research objectives and content.
The aim of the proposed project is to study how structural and electrical properties of both the membrane surface and the proteins influence the selectivity and fouling behaviour during the ultrafiltration of protein solutions. Structural properties of the membrane will be studied with sophisticated techniques, such as AFM and with traditional solute retention tests. It will be attempted to build a complete picture of the membrane structure, by comparing the results of these techniques. it will then be attempted to predict selectivity and fouling behaviour of membranes based on this structural information combined with information on the electrical properties of the membranes.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The applicant will learn how to use characterisation techniques, such as AFM and mercury porosimetry, and he will gain experience in working with proteins and ultrafiltration. As the researchers at the host institute have ample experience in the field of protein ultrafiltration and membrane characterisation a good training content is waranted.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
Ultrafiltration of protein solutions is widely applied in different industries Optimising these ultrafiltration processes includes reducing membrane fouling, and maximising the selectivity. Results of the proposed project would therefore be important in the design and optimisation of ultrafiltration processes.