Doctoral Candidate

Machiel van Essen

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Research Profile

The project Mixed matrix membranes for gas separation focusses on the synthesis and characterization of MMMs by tailoring the morphology and performance. Polyimides are selected as matrix polymer since these polymers are known for their affinity towards CO2, in comparison to e.g. CH4 and N2. Metal organic frameworks (MOFs), attractive for their tunable selectivity and permeability, are dispersed in the membranes or in situ synthesized inside the membrane to induce enhanced selectivity and permeability towards CO2, CO or O2 or a combination of two of these gases.  One goal of this research is to obtain spatial orientation of the additive in the matrix, which should create highly selective and permeable pathways throughout the matrix. The other goal involves introducing covalent interfacial interactions between MOFs and polymeric matrix to improve the dispersion. Both new types of membranes are tested for the separation performance in wide temperature and pressure ranges of several gases, which include the scarcely researched gases CO and H2S. This project results in the synthesis and characterization of innovative MMMs with tailored properties suitable for CO2/CO/O2 separation processes.

Academic Background

Machiel van Essen received his BSc at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He did his MSc in a joined program of the University of Groningen and Universita di Pisa, Italy.
He started as PhD Candidate in the Membrane Materials and Processes, Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology.
His expertises are Polymer science, Gas separation technology, Membrane development and characterization, Polymer modification and synthesis, Product technology and Smart materials.

Educational Activities

  • Polymer membranes for sustainable process applications

Ancillary Activities

No ancillary activities