Highlight publications

By molecular design, we are able to create a universal platform for graphene transfer onto different polymeric nanofiber supports. With the high porosity of the electrospun supports and atomic-thick nanopores across single layer graphene, record-high performances in dialysis and organic solvent nanofiltration has been demonstrated.

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L. Shen, Q. Shi, S. Zhang, J. Gao, D. C. Cheng, M. Yi, R. Song, L. Wang, J. Jiang, R. Karnik, S. Zhang*, Highly porous nanofiber-supported monolayer graphene membranes for ultrafast organic solvent nanofiltration, Science Advances, 2021, accepted.




Through modeling and experiment, we showed that the energy efficiency of wastewater desalination can be improved by ~ 50% through the use of high-permeance membranes. With our patented fouling-resistant and high flux hollow fiber membrane technology (PWP 8.6 LMH/bar at 98.4% NaCl rejection), we demonstrated that the desalination of MBR filtrate from local wastewater treatment plant can reach 85% water recovery , 56% energy saving and 25% reduction of membrane area.

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Li, C. Fang, W. Liu, L. Yang, B. Guo, S. Zhang*, High recovery, energy efficient wastewater desalination, J. Membr. Sci. 631 (2021) 119317.




Inorganic scaling is a persistent challenge in water treatment and desalination. Natural organisms such as lotus leaves and shark skins create regular patterns to combat fouling and scaling. How would different pattern size affect scaling? Is there a cost-effective way to create patterns on membranes? In this work, we employed in-situ patterning on spacers to create mm-sized patterns on membrane surfaces and compared the scaling tendency of nano-, miron- and mm-scale patterns. The study revealed that micron- and mm-scale patterns, if properly oriented, can effectively suppress mineral scaling.

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Shang, L. Wang, J.Z. Xia*, S. Zhang*, Macro-patterning of microcrumpled nanofiltration membranes for low-scaling desalination, Environmental Science & Technology, 54 (2020) 15527–15533.


Laminar 2D membranes provide fast transport channels via nanoscale interlayer spacing within their stacked structure. The properties of the stacked structure are highly dependent on the quality of 2D nanosheets. In this work, we compared two different methods to prepare MoS2 nanosheets, and revealed their impact on the stability, stacking and transport of resulting membranes. Via the introduction ‘bridging’ molecule, stable membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration have been demonstrated.

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Y. Guo, S.D. Jiang, M. Tang, K. Li, S.P. Sun, P.Y. Chen*, S. Zhang*, MoS2 membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration: Stability and structural control, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 10 (2019) 4609-4617.



Does ridge-and-valley structure lead to more severe fouling? What is the underlying mechanism? Is there any implication for future membrane development?

In this work, we prepared freestanding smooth membrane as a control for conventional RO membrane, and tried to answer the above questions by designed experiment and CFD simulation.

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Shang, D. Prankyo, S. Zhang*, Understanding roughness – fouling relationship in reverse osmosis: Mechanism and implications, Environmental Science & Technology, 54 (2020) 5288-5296.


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