Dr. Kuo-lun (Allan) Tung

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Kuo-Lun (Allan) Tung, is now a Distinguished Professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering at National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei, Taiwan. He received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in 1991, 1994, and 1998, respectively, from the NTU, all in chemical engineering. Before joining NTU in August 2012, he was the Director of the R&D Centre for Membrane Technology at Chung Yuan University from 2009 to 2012, with a specialty of research and development on membrane filtration applications for water and wastewater treatment for 20 years. He is now serving as the editor of the Separation and Purification Technology journal and the vice-chair of the membrane technology specialist group in the International Water Association (IWA). He has also been newly elected fellow of IWA since 2019.

Ultrathin Silica Membranes with Straight-Through Channels for High-Performance Nanofiltrations

A nature-inspired mesoporous nanofiltration membrane with unprecedented permeability and high selectivity for selective protein and nanoparticle separations is reported herein. We describe a diatom-mimicking hierarchically porous membrane that consists of a single layer mesoporous silica thin film (MSTF) with perpendicular pores supported on top of a macroporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane (MSTFAAO) for nanofiltration. In the second part, a thin membrane with vertically aligned mesoporous silica nanochannels was modified with a long silane group molecule (E-MSTF-LTA) for organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN). The ultrathin thickness, low tortuosity, and ordered vertical channels of E-MSTF-LTA endowing it with an ultrahigh ethanol flux (110 LMH/bar) over the current state-of-the-art OSN membranes. Furthermore, a 99% rejection of Evans blue (EB) was demonstrated and a cut-off of approximately 660 Da was achieved. Besides, modified Hagen-Poiseuille (HP) equation was applied to evaluate the theoretical permeance which turns out very similar to the experimental results. Results show that viscosity is the critical factor in determining solvent permeation, while size exclusion effect dominates solutes rejection. These findings open up a way to design next-generation vertically aligned OSN membrane and shed light on OSN performance, both empirically and theoretically, under this system.