Dr Q. Gan
BSc (Jiangnan University), 1985
MSc (University Salford), 1989
PhD (University of Wales), 1993
Senior Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering
Tel: + 44 (0) 28 9097 4463
Fax: + 44 (0) 28 9097 6524
Current research in membranes focuses on two areas of applied membrane technology: (i) pressure driven membrane separation processes (MF, NF, NF, RO) in industrial bioprocessing and water treatment, exploiting energy/process efficiency and taking advantage of ambient processing conditions to preserve delicate biological properties of macromolecules (enzymes, therapeutic proteins and wholes cells, etc); (ii) process integration and intensification by simultaneous reaction and separation in new generation of membrane reactors, breaking equilibrium constrains, increasing reactor productivity, and reducing catalyst inhibition/poisoning. Mathematical modeling of integrated reaction and separation processes.
1. Most room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) exhibit selective and preferential gas solubility, transport and separation properties, derived from unique molecular structure and specific interactions with gas molecules. These special properties provide opportuna largely undeveloped field for potential commercial application of ionic liquids. Case specific gas separation can be developed through synthesizing new ionic liquids with tailored gas separation/transport properties. The main focus of current research is developing a new teities for developing new gas separation/gas enrichment processes employing a thin layer ionic liquids as the separation barrier, chnology platform of supported ionic liquid membrane (SILM) to enable practical and industrial exploitation of ionic liquids for gas separation/enrichment. The SILM technology is especially attractive because of the non-volatile and stable nature of ionic liquids, permitting high system stability capable of operating at high pressure gradient impossible with conventional supported liquid membranes.
2. The bulk of new research in ionic liquids so far has its main focus on exploring reactions and catalytic mechanisms in ionic liquids. On the other hand RTILs are non-volatile and exhibit distinctive fluid properties with high viscosity typically two to three orders of magnitude higher than water, rendering their separation, recovery and reuse from reaction mixtures a difficult and highly challenging task for conventional separation processes. Future commercial success of ionic liquids depends on successful development of new and cost effective separation processes at industrial scale for mixing, product isolation, ionic liquids recovery and reuse. We are currently conducting studies of fundamental fluid properties of pure ionic liquids, the rheological and membrane filtration/separation properties of their mixtures with polar and non polar solvents, and particle separation/membrane fouling studies.
3. Catalysis with direct utilisation of nanoparticle catalysts in a new generation of membrane reactors and rotating disc reactors with continuous monitoring of chemical concentration using online RAMAN Spectroscopy analysis.
Nanoparticles research focuses on development of nanoparticle fabrication technology for systematic manipulation of particle properties with easily controllable parameters in order to efficiently control incorporation, delivery and release of therapeutic macrosolutes (proteins and genes) and new cancer drugs with ultra low aqueous solubility. An ionic gelation process in fabricating chitosan nano hydrogels and a copolymer MePEG-PDLLA nano micelle system were studied. Purified chitosan was also used in electrospinning process and in fabrication of composite 3D porous structure used as scaffold in bone tissue engineering. We are developing new fabrication technology and composite materials to make scaffold with desirable surface, biological, mechanical as well as structural properties for cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation.