Organo-functionalized inorganic nanofiltration membranes through engineering at the molecular level

Nikos Kyriakou

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

181 Downloads (Pure)


A membrane is generally a selective barrier through which one or more components of a mixture can be selectively removed. Compared to their polymeric counterparts, inorganic membranes can be used under harsh conditions, such as high temperatures or pressures. However, their potential has not yet been fully explored. The Ph.D. thesis "Organo-functionalized inorganic nanofiltration membranes through engineering at the molecular level" expands on the prospects of polymer-functionalized inorganic, i.e., hybrid, membranes. By combining polymeric and inorganic materials in a single hybrid membrane, we can use both materials' advantages. In this thesis, the different hybrid membranes developed were tested in water, solvents, and their mixtures to understand these membranes' capabilities under "real" industrial conditions.

Different approaches were used to develop these hybrid membranes, including surface-initiated (grafting-from) in-situ polymerizations or simple methods to covalently link commercial polymers on the inorganic substrates (grafting-to). Additionally, novel methodologies, such as the thio-bromo "click" reaction, were used to control the polymer growth and reduce the environmental footprint of membrane fabrication methods. This work opens new avenues for research and industrial interest in hybrid inorganic membranes. This work was founded by the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) under the project "Solvent Tolerant Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis membranes (STNF) for the purification of industrial aqueous streams", supervised by professors Louis Winnubst, Marie-Alix Pizzoccaro-Zilamy, and Arian Nijmeijer of the Inorganic Membranes group at the University of Twente.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Nijmeijer, A., Supervisor
  • Winnubst, A.J.A., Supervisor
  • Pizzoccaro-Zilamy, Marie-Alix, Co-Supervisor
Award date14 Oct 2022
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs9789464690538
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2022


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