EMS Webinar: March 13th, 2024, Beyond selectivity: Model-based systems engineering for sustainable nanofiltration processes, Aron K. Beke.

Title: Beyond selectivity: Model-based systems engineering for sustainable nanofiltration processes

Speaker: Aron K. Beke, Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center, Physical Science and Engineering Division (PSE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia



Nanofiltration has emerged as a promising low-energy and low-waste alternative to conventional separations across a myriad of industries. As an inherently continuous technology, membrane separation also aligns with the paradigm shift of the pharmaceutical industry to adopt continuous manufacturing. However, efficient and robust implementation of nanofiltration systems requires process digitalization and comprehensive design space exploration through modeling and optimization.

At the Szekely Group in KAUST, we introduce a comprehensive framework for the data-driven and model-based systems engineering of nanofiltration processes. Multiscale steady-state and dynamic models were developed for structurally diverse nanofiltration cascades. A multi-objective optimization approach was employed to characterize the purity-recovery trade-off in multistage nanofiltration systems. The OSN Database (www.osndatabase.com) was subjected to a process-based transformation and analysis, enabling a holistic approach to nanofiltration efficiency description and categorical comparison of membrane performance [1]. Applying our models, we performed the techno-economic and sustainability assessment of the downstream extraction and purification steps of an algal bioprocess [2]. As a specific case study, we also present the first comprehensive model-based analysis and assessment of enantioselective organic solvent nanofiltration processes [3]. Dynamic models for side-stream recycling and in situ racemization allowed a detailed feasibility assessment of membrane-based stereochemical resolution processes. Model-based and data-driven prediction tools on www.osndatabase.com aim to assist researchers in connecting material development results with early-stage process performance assessments. Our research contributes to bridging the gap between material science and sustainable process development by providing guidelines for future endeavors in the field.

[1] Journal of Membrane Science, 674 (2023) 121519

[2] Green Chemistry, 24 (2022) 5479-5489

[3] Journal of Membrane Science, 663 (2022) 121020



Aron Beke is a Chemical Engineering PhD student in Professor Gyorgy Szekely’s group at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. Aron earned his Chemical Engineering BSc degree from Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary, specializing in pharmaceutical chemistry and technology. He began his research career by modeling continuous pharmaceutical technologies, and later he expanded his work to membrane processes. After successfully defending his Master’s thesis on modeling enantioselective nanofiltration, Aron now focuses on the systems engineering of nanofiltration processes in his doctoral work, aiming to bring data-driven and model-based solutions to sustainability challenges.


Time: 13th March 2024, 4:00 pm (CET time)

Location:  our EMS Youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBzUqWLIW-VXIDGLgI8QpiA



List of the previous EMS webinars: https://www.emsoc.eu/ems-webinars/