Events Calendar

Charged Polymers for Sustainability and the Environment: Direct Air Capture of CO2, Water Purification, and Energy Storage

Tuesday, March 21, 2023
9:30 am - 10:30 am

Location: NHB 1.720

Polymeric materials, due to their adaptability and array of functionality, touch almost every aspect of our daily lives. This seminar will focus on methods by which new behavior was engineered into “old” materials. I will discuss my lab’s efforts to design new polymers for water treatment membranes. Membrane-based water purification techniques are the current state of the art, but face limitations including thermodynamically limited transport, high material and operation costs, the perm-selectivity tradeoff, and fouling-prone or chlorine-sensitive membrane materials. Through the addition of charged sites, specifically zwitterions, to poly(arylene ether sulfone)s,  the hydrophilicity, water permeability, and fouling resistance were all improved while maintaining low salt passage. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have reached a tipping point. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that aggressive action is needed to limit overshoot of 1.5 ˚C global warming and that negative emissions technologies are required. This requires energy-efficient capture and concentration of a dilute CO2 feedstock (CO2 concentrations are ~415 ppm), which presents several technical gaps related to separation science. The seminar will highlight several strategies that have been utilized to impart CO2 sorption characteristics to polymeric materials, including a membrane-based technology to continuously capture CO2, a high surface area polymeric sorbent that controls the kinetics of CO2 sorption, and a capture system that can be integrated with biological utilization. The use of charged polymers encompasses nearly all of the work in the Green research group. Charged moieties have a strong effect on the morphology of block polymers, and can be used in energy storage applications. The final vignette in this talk will highlight a new polymer platform that can shed light on some thermodynamic parameters that control the morphology of block polymers.

Matthew Green is an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at ASU, Director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, and the Associate Director of the Biodesign Center for Sustainable Macromolecular Materials and Manufacturing (SM3). He obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering as well as Chemistry at Virginia Tech in 2007, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2011 at Virginia Tech. Then, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. He joined the faculty at Arizona State University in Chemical Engineering in 2014 and his research is focused on the design and synthesis of novel, ion-containing copolymers to be used in materials ranging from membranes for water purification to polymeric nanocomposites. He has received several awards, including the 2016 Young Membrane Scientist by the North American Membrane Society (NAMS), the 2018 NASA Early Career Faculty Award, the 2018 Ford Faculty Fellowship from ASU, and the 2019 NSF CAREER Award.

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Green, Arizona State University