Xianjue 'Sam' Chen
With Australia's water security crisis exacerbated by climate change, there is a pressing need to find sustainable water resources. Xianjue and his UNSW team is working on a nanotech solution - membranes made of atomically thin materials that enable selective separation of water that could provide a more energy-efficient form of desalination due to its better water flux and salt-rejection properties. The choice of membrane materials is graphite or clay that is exfoliated to the depth of few nanometres, making for a cheap product. Xianjue is using his grant to set up new filtration systems for developing this low-energy process with great potential.