This research work focuses on the development of biochar-infused polymeric mixed matrix membranes, where the biochar is derived from spent industrial wastes. These wastes are usually discarded in landfills; however, we strive to find an economical, circular, and a green utility for it. Potentially, the biochar derived by utilizing this spice waste can be used for two purposes: to remove pollutants from industrial wastewater, and to enrich hydrogen in expelled gases in pyrolysis/ gasification reactors. Although literature exists that uses this biochar for these purposes, very few works investigate adsorption by suspending this biochar in a polymer matrix. Here, we test the biochar-infused polymeric mixed matrix membranes (MMM) for these two purposes to make component separation continuous and more energy-efficient than the existing classical methods. By comparing the performance against standard treatment methods, we can establish a viable route that can tackle pollution issues to some extent. For these membranes made by spin-coating technique however, the complex rheology of biochar-polymer mixture leads to flow instabilities that alter the quality and adsorptive performance of the membrane. By studying the onset of these flow instabilities, appropriate guidelines can be set for spin-coating operation so that perfectly uniform membranes with good adsorption can be achieved.
PI: Dr. Karan Gupta