Picture of Dr. Steven T. Weinman

Assistant Professor

Chemical and Biological Engineering

1115 Bevill
 (205) 348-8516
 (205) 348-7558
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Education

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Clemson University, 2018
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Kentucky, 2013

Biography

Dr. Steven Weinman’s group focuses on functionalizing commercial membranes via surface chemistry and surface morphology modifications with the ultimate goal to improve current commercial membranes.

Membranes are semi-permeable barriers that separate substances when a driving force is applied across the membrane. The Weinman group works to provide solutions to current environmental and wastewater challenges by developing new membrane technologies. We will study fundamental interactions of modified membranes with different compounds of interest.

Membrane distillation purifies water through a vapor pressure gradient created by heating the feed solution, which causes water vapor to diffuse through the hydrophobic membrane pores. Therefore, only volatile components can transport through the membrane, thus removing contaminants from water. However, one of the limitations of membrane distillation is membrane fouling. My research will be focused on surface modifying these membranes to reduce oil fouling.

Another project involves creating membrane adsorbers to capture heavy metals. Heavy metals are known to be toxic, are not biodegradable, and will accumulate in living organisms. Unlike technologies that rely on pore diffusion for mass transport (e.g. resin beads), these membrane adsorbers use convective flow through the membrane pores for mass transport to the adsorption sites.

A third project revolves around water and wastewater treatment by functionalizing ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis membranes with anti-fouling zwitterion layers. These layers are special in that they can switch reversibly between anti-fouling mode and antimicrobial mode (biocidal).

Honors and Awards

  • 2017 North American Membrane Society Student Fellowship Award
  • 2015 North American Membrane Society Student Poster Award
  • 2014 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Areas of Research

Latest Publications

  • Nanopatterning commercial nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes, Eric M. Fierce, Scott M. Husson, Separation and Purification Technology 2019
  • A switchable zwitterionic membrane surface chemistry for biofouling control, Maria Bass, Soumya Pandit, Moshe Herzberg, Viatcheslav Freger, Scott M. Husson, Journal of Membrane Science, 2018
  • Influence of chemical coating combined with nanopatterning on alginate fouling during nanofiltration, Scott M. Husson, Journal of Membrane Science, 2016
  • Patterning various commercial nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes, Eric M. Fierce, Scott M. Husson, North American Membrane Society annual meeting in Lexington, KY, 2018
  • Application of a new zwitterionic membrane surface chemistry for biofouling control, Maria Bass, Soumya Pandit, Moshe Herzberg, Viatcheslav Freger, Scott M. Husson, American Chemical Society Meeting in New Orleans, LA, 2018