Minerals – Processing and Materials
Within this theme, research is focussed on geopolymers and mineral processing. The Centre’s mineral processing research looks at enhancing the economic viability and environmental performance of metal leaching and particle separation processes (flotation). Geopolymers are inorganic polymers made under alkali conditions from silicate and aluminate rich minerals or wastes.
- Temperature-responsive polymers as selective flocculants
- Advanced ceramics development
- Understanding the fundamental microstructural differences between geopolymeric binders, alkali-activated systems, and ordinary Portland cement
- Development of a new theoretical model of the molecular structure and microstructure of geopolymers
Controlled Porous Structures
Another key research activity for the Centre is the controlled manufacture of porous structures using either inorganic or organic substrates and the effect of surface modification as well as the adsorption/desorption of ions, surfactants, proteins, cells and other molecular species to these structures.
- Carbon dioxide separations
- Photocatalytic and energy storage applications
- Biological applications such as drug delivery and tissue engineering
- Ion exchange and bioseparation technology
- Nanostructured interfaces and materials
A large range of industries dewater suspensions through the use of thickeners, filters and centrifuges. The aim is often to recover water in an effective manner for recycling although, more frequently, the use of the process is to produce particulate suspensions and cakes of controlled rheology or dryness. A key aim of this research is predictive design and optimized operation of these processes.
- Phage treatment of wastewater foam
- Dry stacking operating methods in wastewater treatment plants
- Understanding the filterability of wastewater sludges
- Optimisation of thickener performance
- Rheological behaviour and microstructure of particulate suspensions
- Combined shear and compression suspension rheology
Surface Forces and Spectroscopy
The research in this theme seeks to understand the surface modification of surfaces and the adsorption/desorption of ions, surfactants, proteins, cells and other molecular species to surfaces, monitored by either atomic force microscopy (AFM) or spectroscopic techniques.
- Development of antifouling technologies using superhydrophobic surfaces
- Understanding the dynamics of anisotopic particles as they diffuse and assemble in advanced materials
- Bubble and droplet interactions
- Measurement of soft matter interactions