UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Silo Meoto

Silo Meoto obtained a BS degree in Chemical Engineering in 2009 from the University of South Carolina and an MS in Chemical Engineering in 2012 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research project examined the synthesis of ordered mesoporous silica inside anodic alumina channels. Silo joined the UCL’s department of Chemical Engineering as a PhD student in 2013. 

Research project

Title: Synthesis and Design of a Biologically Inspired Membrane .

The aim of this project is to design and synthesize a bio-inspired membrane for water desalination and purification. Computational studies of water and ion transport through protein channels in cell membranes teach us the fundamental principles behind the combination of remarkably high permeation and selectivity of these biological membranes. We aim to build an artificial nanoporous membrane that implements the fundamental principles that lead to the superior performance of biological membranes.
Although other nanoporous materials could be used, current research is focused on the synthesis of SBA-15 membranes templated by anodic alumina. Mesoporous silica, SBA-15, is of particular interest, because of its straight, hexagonally ordered mesopores and hydrothermal stability. Furthermore, it can be functionalized to change its surface properties, and hereby the membrane permeation and selectivity. Experimental studies are carried out to obtain membranes with a desirable structure. The optimal functionalization and operation of the mesoporous membranes for fast water transport and separation of undesired solutes will be guided by the mechanism behind the workings of the model biological membranes. 


B.S. in Chemical Engineering, University of South Carolina, U.S.A 2009
M.S. in Chemical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, U.S.A 2012