Project Details


Chemical separations are critical to almost every aspect of our daily lives, from the energy we use to the medications we take, but consume 10-15% of the total energy used in the world. It has been estimated that highly selective membranes could make these separations 10-times more energy efficient and save 100 million tonnes/year of carbon dioxide emissions and £3.5 billion in energy costs annually (US DoE). More selective separation processes are essential to "maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth", and will assist the move towards "low carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources" (HM Govt Clean Growth Strategy, 2017). In the healthcare sector there is growing concern over the cost of the latest pharmaceuticals, which are often biologicals, with an unmet need for highly selective separation of product-related impurities such as active from inactive viruses (HM Govt Industrial Strategy 2017). In the water sector, the challenges lie in the removal of ions and small molecules at very low concentrations, so-called micropollutants (Cave Review, 2008). Those developing sustainable approaches to chemicals manufacture require novel separation approaches to remove small amounts of potent inhibitors during feedstock preparation. Manufacturers of high-value products would benefit from higher recovery offered by more selective membranes.
In all these instances, higher selectivity separation processes will provide a step-change in productivity, a critical need for the UK economy, as highlighted in the UK Government's Industrial Strategy and by our industrial partners.

SynHiSel's vision is to create the high selectivity membranes needed to enable the adoption of a novel generation of emerging high-value/high-efficiency processes.

Our ambition is to change the way the global community perceives performance, with a primary focus on improved selectivity and its process benefits - while maintaining gains already made in permeance and longevity.
Effective start/end date1/02/2231/01/27


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


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