Multi-scale engineering toolbox for systematic assessment of porous materials in the context of adsorption and membrane separations

We will integrate structure characterization, molecular simulation and process modelling methods into a single computational toolbox and apply this toolbox to explore the scope and accuracy of multi-scale approaches in the assessment of performance of porous materials in adsorption and membrane separation processes. Separation processes consume about 10-15% of global energy, while high energy cost of carbon capture still presents a major hurdle in the implementation of this technology. Recent discovery of new families of porous materials opens unprecedented opportunities to advance energy efficient adsorption and membrane separations; however the large number of new materials demands a transition from traditional trial-and-error process design to rational selection of materials based on computational screening. In this project, we develop computational tools required for this transition, test them against bench scale experiments, and explore their robustness in screening materials for realistic process configurations. In the latter case, we use portable oxygen concentration technologies as a source of extensive reference data to test computational predictions. At the same time, we use this case as an opportunity to apply multi-scale approaches to explore further optimization of portable oxygen concentrators (POC) to make these medical devices even lighter with longer battery life.