Dr. Canghai Ma is a full Professor and doctoral supervisor at the School of Chemical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology. Prof. Ma obtained his bachelor's and master's degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 2006 and 2008, respectively, and PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2012. He worked as Research Scientist at Air Liquide from 2012-2017 and Project Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 2017 to 2019. In 2020, he joined Dalian University of technology (DUT) and was awarded as young talents including "LiaoNing Xing-Liao Talent Program" and "DUT Xinghai Program".
Prof. Ma obtained his PhD degree under the guidance of Prof. William J. Koros, an US National Academy of Engineering member, and has been committed to the research of advanced membrane materials, membrane separation technology and membrane industrial application. He has published papers as the first/corresponding author on prestigious journals, including Nat. Commun., Adv. Funct. Mater., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, ChemSusChem, J. Membr. Sci., and Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. Prof. Ma has filed more than 10 patents and holds 5 U.S. patents and 1 Chinese patent.
Design and fabrication of advanced membranes for CO2 separation
Carbon dioxide (CO2) separation plays a key role in natural gas purification and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Compared with the traditional ammonia absorption, CO2 membrane separation technology possess advantages of low energy consumption, high efficiency, small footprints, low pollution and easy integration. Membrane separation has been widely used in industry and attracted increasing attention. The main challenges of CO2 membrane separation technology are: (1) there exists a tradeoff relationship or upper bound between gas permeability and selectivity of traditional membrane materials, which restricts the development of membrane separation technology; (2) the polymer chain swells and plasticizes under a high CO2 feed pressure, resulting in a sharp decline of gas selectivity and loss of separation performance; (3) current asymmetric hollow fiber membrane with high surface area-volume ratio has a thick skin layer and low separation flux, hindering its industrial application. To address those challenges, we focus on the molecular design and the membrane morphology formation, aiming to break the upper bound limit of CO2 separation and improve the anti CO2 plasticization of membranes. In addition, we engineered the fabrication process of hollow fiber membranes to develop ultra-thin skinned and highly-permeable hollow fiber membrane. Besides natural gas purification and greenhouse gas capture, our research are also applicable to important gas separation fields such as air separation, helium recovery, hydrogen separation and paraffin-olefin separation.