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11. Organic Solvent Nanofiltration – A New Paradigm for Molecular Separations in Organic Liquids

Summary of the impact

Organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) is a membrane separation technology used for separating molecules present in organic solvents. Research in the Livingston group has resulted in the creation of membranes with exceptional stability in organic solvents, coupled to high flux and excellent rejection performance. These membranes have been developed through to commercial products, and are manufactured by Evonik MET Ltd in the UK in a purpose-built facility in West London.

For many separations OSN uses ten times less energy than thermal methods, and can process molecules at low temperature. Through Evonik MET, OSN membranes and test equipment derived from the Imperial research have been supplied to over 100 customers including many of the major global chemical and pharmaceutical companies. For his work on OSN, Andrew Livingston received the 2009 Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering awarded " recognize an outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to British engineering, which has resulted in successful market exploitation..." [7]

Submitting Institution

Imperial College London

Unit of Assessment

Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Chemical Sciences: Analytical Chemistry, Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Engineering: Chemical Engineering

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