A University of Bath researcher has received an Industrial Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering to develop new energy-efficient membranes that will help efforts to achieve net zero.

Dr Ming Xie, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, is working to create new membrane materials that would help treat and filter wastewater, with scope for technologies and learnings from the project to be applied to several key industries.

Dr Xie says: "Energy-efficient chemical separation is vital to achieving net zero. We're working to create novel membrane materials with new properties, by and developing a molecular weaving approach for the fabrication process. The project could potentially revolutionise current separation technology and underpin a new energy- and resource-efficient future."

The project seeks to innovate new polymer chemistry and membrane technologies to produce membranes that can separate chemicals, including those found in wastewater, without the need for energy-intensive powered processing.

The membranes and technologies developed during the project could also be used in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Dr Xie said: "We will use a molecule-level design to make new membranes that can process and separate molecules, to treat water, other chemicals or to create high-value compounds. Our aim is to make a wide-ranging impact with this research.

"I’m very honoured and humbled to have been awarded the Industrial Fellowship. This mid-career RAEng Fellowship scheme will enable me to broaden my research horizons and strengthen key strategic industry partnerships."

The Royal Academy of Engineering also awarded industrial fellowships to researchers at Universities including UCL, Edinburgh, Aston University, Nottingham, Cranfield and Cambridge.