SEPPURE’s extraordinary journey began in 2015, when Dr Farahani embarked on a PhD programme in membrane technology at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
With a grant from the National Research Foundation of Singapore, Dr Farahani and his technical adviser, Professor Neal Tai-Shung Chung, developed what would become SEPPURE’s core technology.
“Chemical separation processes to remove impurities from products is integral to the industries we rely on; from the food we eat to the cars we drive. Take the petrochemical industry, for example, which separates crude oil into its components, then refines it to create different products used as fuels,” says Dr Farahani.
“The problem is that the existing technologies that companies use for this burn through massive amounts of energy as they heat and cool chemicals through distillation and evaporation processes. In fact, these technologies have become one of the world’s largest silent polluters, accounting for up to 15 per cent of the planet’s entire energy consumption. At SEPPURE, that is something we are determined to change.”
Based on Dr Farahani’s research, SEPPURE has developed a solution that uses solvent-resistant nanofiltration membranes to separate chemical mixtures at a molecular level without the use of heat.