Reactive Structures in Membrane-Based Water Treatment Processes

Monday, January 27, 2014

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm


David Jassby

David Jassby is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. Prior to joining UC Riverside, David was the executive director of the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology. David received his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke University. His Ph.D. work concentrated on the impact of aggregation on nanoparticle reactive properties. Prior to this, he worked as an engineer at BBL, an environmental engineering consulting firm in Raleigh, NC, where he worked on soil remediation projects throughout the southeast. David obtained his M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Davis, and a B.Sc. in Biology from Hebrew University in Israel.

Abstract:  Membrane-based separation processes are ubiquitous in many industries and are particularly common in areas such as drinking water treatment, wastewater recycling, oil-in-water separations, and resource recovery. However, membrane fouling continues to plague many separation activities. The Jassby is developing a range of reactive materials that can be used in membrane treatment processes. The materials range from electrically conducting carbon nanotube–polymer composites useful in fouling prevention, to reactive electrospun nanofibers that can be used as non-woven spacers in spiral wound membrane elements. In this talk, Prof. Jassby will describe potential solutions for solving some of the challenges faced by the membrane industry, including mineral scaling, biofilm formation and organic fouling; both experimental and modeling results will be discussed. Our membranes are composed of a carbon nanotube polymer composite, with polymer selection based on the desired membrane transport properties. We utilize the electrical conductivity imparted to the polymer composite by the incorporation of carbon nanotubes to enhance membrane performance through the application of different electrical potentials to the membrane surface, which drives various anti-fouling mechanisms. We will discuss the opportunities and advantages of this method, as well as some of the inherent limitations.

On another topic, we will discuss different steps and strategies that have proved useful when applying and interviewing for a faculty position, as well as the reality of the first 18 months as an assistant professor.