Manchester researcher awarded Philip Leverhulme Prize 2018
Professor Rahul Nair has been awarded £100,000 by the Leverhulme Trust to the advancement of his research related to novel graphene based membranes.
Philip Leverhulme Prizes are designed to recognise and facilitate the work of outstanding research scholars of proven achievement, who have made and are continuing to make original and significant contributions to knowledge in their particular field.
Nair’s research at The University of Manchester demonstrated that graphene oxide, a chemical derivative of graphene, has the potential for next generation membranes for separation and filtration technologies. Nair’s research on graphene-based membranes demonstrates that graphene-based membranes can act as the finest sieves allowing water to pass through while blocking other salts and molecules superior to other existing polymer-based technologies.
Today nearly one fifth of the world’s population – 1.2 billion people – live in areas plagued by water scarcity. This requires efficient and economically viable innovative water treatment technologies.
The latest research from Nair’s team shows that graphene oxide membranes also have the potential to be used as solvent filters for industrial needs and also as smart membranes that allow precise and reversible control of molecular permeation using external stimuli.
Professor Rahul Nair said: “I am delighted to know that our research is recognised by the Leverhulme Trust and this prize will allow us to enhance the progress of this research and also provides the flexibility to expand our research into other globally challenging research themes.”
Membranes are just one of the key areas of research at the new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre
I am delighted to know that our research is recognised by the Leverhulme Trust and this prize will allow us to enhance the progress of this research and also provides the flexibility to expand our research into other globally challenging research themes.
Due to open at the end of this year, the GEIC will focus on industry-led application development in partnership with academics. It will fill a critical gap in the graphene and 2D materials ecosystem by providing facilities which focus on pilot production, characterisation, together with application development in composites, energy, solution formulations and coatings, electronics and membranes.
By creating a critical mass of scientists, manufacturers, engineers, innovators and industrialists the advanced materials innovation ecosystem will be able to take a graphene application from basic research to finished product.
Together with the National Graphene Institute (NGI), the GEIC will act as a cornerstone of the University’s vision to create a Graphene City in the heart of Manchester.
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