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Externally Tuneable Separations for Membrane Reactors

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "TUNEMEM" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BATH
postcode: BA2 7AY

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 789˙823 €
 EC max contribution 789˙823 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-08-01   to  2018-02-28


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF BATH UK (BATH) coordinator 789˙823.00


 Project objective

I will develop an all new type of reactor for pharmaceutical and chemical process applications – the ‘tuneable membrane reactor’. These contain ground-breaking conducting polymer composite membranes that will allow in-situ tuning of the molecular selectivity for both neutral and charged species through them. This is revolutionary: current state-of-the-art membranes can be electrically tuned for charged species only. The project is timely, developing a new technology that can give the EU a competitive advantage for our declining pharmaceutical and (petro)chemical manufacturing base and builds on my recent research innovations.

To do this, my team of 3 PDRAs, 3 PhDs and I will develop unique stable polymer-polymer acid-nanoparticle composite membranes that can be externally electrically tuned to different pore sizes and/or molecular selectivity, uniquely tuning for neutral and charged species. We will characterise the chemical, physical and transport mechanisms responsible for the membrane tuneablity and relate these to transport models. We will then determine the feasibility of applying these unique tuneable membranes into membrane reactors, to allow in-situ external control of two key reactor parameters currently not possible: (1) Membrane fouling - membrane pore size/free volume and charge will be changed by applied potential allowing the fouling layer to be pushed off/through the membrane. (2) Precise external control of the reactant and product spectrum in the reactor by modifying species retention. By doing this, these tuneable membranes can be used to control the reaction rate, emissions and catalyst retention to maximise reaction rate and selectivity. This increases energy efficiency and emission control, helping the EU 20-20-20 environmental targets to be met. The overall impact applies beyond the project – we will be able to increase the control of membrane separations used worldwide, helping industries including food, water, healthcare and chemicals.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Lili Xu, Salman Shahid, Agnieszka Kinga Holda, Emma Anna Carolina Emanuelsson, Darrell Alec Patterson
Stimuli responsive conductive polyaniline membrane: In-filtration electrical tuneability of flux and MWCO
published pages: 153-166, ISSN: 0376-7388, DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2018.01.070
Journal of Membrane Science 552 2019-10-28
2017 Christopher John Davey, Ze-Xian Low, Remigius H. Wirawan, Darrell Alec Patterson
Molecular weight cut-off determination of organic solvent nanofiltration membranes using poly(propylene glycol)
published pages: 221-228, ISSN: 0376-7388, DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2016.12.038
Journal of Membrane Science 526 2019-10-28
2017 Lili Xu, Salman Shahid, Junjie Shen, Emma Anna Carolina Emanuelsson, Darrell Alec Patterson
A wide range and high resolution one-filtration molecular weight cut-off method for aqueous based nanofiltration and ultrafiltration membranes
published pages: 304-311, ISSN: 0376-7388, DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2016.12.004
Journal of Membrane Science 525 2019-10-28
2018 Junjie Shen, Salman Shahid, Adem Sarihan, Darrell A. Patterson, Emma A.C. Emanuelsson
Effect of polyacid dopants on the performance of polyaniline membranes in organic solvent nanofiltration
published pages: 336-344, ISSN: 1383-5866, DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2018.04.034
Separation and Purification Technology 204 2019-10-28

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The information about "TUNEMEM" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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