Advanced Separation Methods

Students performing research

Sophisticated chemical separations are an essential step in industrial production and environmental protection, from ensuring the safety of consumer products to keeping municipal drinking water clear of contaminants, from helping astronauts breathe in outer space to keeping tabs on rouge nuclear activity.

All products that use chemicals—from paints and shampoo to detergents and toothpaste—rely on these techniques for purification and to make sure they’re safe for consumption and use. And they’re vital to environmental efforts like keeping water sources free from agricultural runoff, remediating brownfield sites and cleaning up other pollutants.

Our researchers are refining separations for all these applications and more. They’re purifying isotopes for medical use and nuclear forensics. They’re developing a membrane-based separation system to extract carbon dioxide from the air onboard spacecrafts. And they’re developing ways to capture phosphates from runoff to prevent it from entering the general water supply. Case Western Reserve’s access to world-class medical facilities, major manufacturers and natural resources like Lake Erie make it a prime location to conduct advanced separations research across the entire spectrum of industrial and environmental applications.

Institutes, centers and labs related to Advanced Separation Methods

Wind Turbine

Energy Lab

Studies the fundamental electrochemical processes in ionic liquids, and designs nonflammable electrolytes for energy storage and conversion

Faculty who conduct research in Advanced Separation Methods

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Rohan Akolkar

Milton and Tamar Maltz Professorship in Energy Innovation at the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation
Professor, Chemical Engineering
Director, Electrochemical Materials Fabrication (EMF) Laboratory

Develops new electrochemical processes for applications including nano-material fabrication, energy storage, electrometallurgy and sensors

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Christine Duval

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops advanced materials to enable radiochemical separations for nuclear forensics and human health

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Donald Feke

Vice Provost, Case Western Reserve University
Distinguished University Professor
Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops novel polymeric materials and ultrasonic-based separation processes for nano- and microscale multi-phase systems

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Burcu Gurkan

Nord Distinguished Associate Professor
Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering

Designs, develops and investigates ionic liquid based electrochemical systems for energy, separations, environmental sciences and sensors