Transport of Medium Chain Fatty Acids through Rubbery Polymer Film

Wastewater treatment plants currently produce biogas as a byproduct – a low value greenhouse gas (GHG). Abbas’s work, entitled “Transport of Medium Chain Fatty Acids Through Rubbery Polymer Films,” is part of a collaboration between the Advanced Membrane and Microbiome Engineering labs to replace biogas with bio-sourced medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are valuable chemicals, currently produced unsustainably from palm oil, and their production would increase the economic viability of wastewater treatment operations. Abbas’s role in the project is to assess the impact of polymer chemistry on the separation of MCFAs. He synthesizes films of polydimethylsiloxane and custom polyacrylates, followed by testing MCFA transport in diffusion cells and quantifying permeate concentrations using GC/MS.