Development of a Filtration System for Removing Volatile Organic Compounds, Heavy Metals and Toxins from Contaminated Waters


Jan Genzer (left) chats with an engineering colleague Dr. Kirill Efimenko, Research Assistant Professor in the CBE.department, his EB1 lab on Centennial Campus. PHOTO BY ROGER WINSTEAD

NC State Chemical Engineering Professor Jan Genzer is developing a functional fiber filter system that is capable of performing specific filtration functions while serving as a multipurpose water remediation and purification system. Dr. Genzer and his graduate student Matt Mellilo are devising a collaborative program that would include design of new generation of filtration media involving activated carbon materials and organic scavenging media.

In conjunction these materials should provide a general platform for removing a variety of impurities from contaminated waters. In the past fiscal year, Dr. Genzer reported accomplishments regarding the discovery of the relationship between the wettability of water on the silicone elastomer networks that has implications in the field of “lab-on-a-chip” technology relevant to water purification. Dr. Genzer is also currently working on two manuscripts to submit these results for publication.

Matt Mellilo mentored three undergraduate students on this project. Mellilo received the People’s Choice Award at the Graduate School’s inaugural 3 Minute Thesis Competition at NC State University in October 2015. In addition, he was also a finalist in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department’s Praxair Exceptional Teaching Assistant Award at the Schoenborn Graduate Research Symposium in January 2016.