Research Divisions

Water Treatment Membrane Division

We develop separation membrane for water treatment, which is being industrialized in many ways, such as: hollow membrane for wastewater treatment, reverse osmosis membrane for seawater desalination and separation membrane for industrial drainage percolation.

In water management performed by applying separation membrane, the phenomenon occurred when organic and inorganic particles, as well as microorganisms present in water are accumulated in the membrane’s surface, known as “Membrane Fouling”, becomes our main problem.

With this background, we perform research in the following subjects:


  • Hiroshi Onishi (Professor) (*)
  • Hideto Matsuyama (Professor)
  • Akio Tada (Associate Professor)
  • Saeid Rajabzadeh (Associate Professor)
  • Ikko Ihara (Associate Professor)
  • Kecheng Guan (Assistant Professor)

(*) Division Leader

Research Topics

Development of novel water treatment process based on forward osmosis

In recent years, a forward osmosis (FO) process has attracted attention as a novel water separation technic for a desalination process or a process for concentrating foods, beverages, food additives, and bioproducts. Our group developed the FO membranes with high ammonia rejection and the DS with thermo-responsible materials.

Anti-fouling membrane preparation and simulation

  • Saeid Kahnamouei RAJABZADEH

Membrane fouling which is the adsorption of water pollutant on membrane surface, is the most challenging problem in water polymeric membranes applications. Fouling resulted in a decrease in membrane separation performance and membrane lifetime. With appropriate chemio-physical alteration of membrane properties fouling decreased sharply. To approach this goal, not only the precise experimental approach is needed, but also understanding the phenomena based on the simulations are required.

Energy Conversion and Recycling of Animal and Food Biomass Using Separation Technologies

For sustainable food production and food processing, we study conversion technologies of animal and food biomass using separation technologies such as magnetic separation and membrane separation, and anaerobic digestion. We aim to convert animal biomass, food processing wastes, and organic wastewaters into renewable energy and resource recycling.

Water quality monitoring for pollutant loads using membranes

Pollutant loads from watersheds are transported into downstream receiving waterbodies such as oceans, lakes, and marshes mainly through rivers. Polluted river water adversely affects the aquatic ecosystems in receiving water bodies. We develop a method for accurately estimating the pollutant loads based on low-frequency active sampling, and also investigate a method for monitoring pollutant loads by passive sampling using membranes and adsorbents.

Comprehensive study on membrane fouling

Membrane fouling is the most challenging problem in water treatment application of the polymeric membranes. Fouling results performance decrease in membrane separation performance and membrane lifetime. Thus, systematic research on understanding the fouling mechanism is the key to avoid this phenomenon. We study membrane fouling mechanism from a comprehensive perspective by combining experimental and simulational approaches.

Molecule-Scale Characterization Methods at Liquid-Solid Interfaces

We are proud of our international-compatible studies of liquid-solid interfaces with advanced scanning probes, atomic force microscopy and electrochemical microscopy. Collaboration with foreign researchers and students are welcome in broad research area including applied chemistry, physics, geoscience, materials and mechanical engineering.


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