Department of Chemical Engineering
1280 Main Street West, Hamilton
Ontario, Canada L8S 4L7
voice: (905) 525-9140 ext.24948
B.A.Sc. University of Waterloo (1975), M.A.Sc.
University of Waterloo (1977), Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University (1985).
See our Web page for activities of the McMaster Membrane Research Group:
One of the exciting new areas of research in chemical engineering is the
separation processes based on membrane technology. Processes being investigated
the McMaster Membrane Research Group included reverse osmosis/nanofiltration,
ultrafiltration, microfiltration, dialysis, electrodialysis, and pervaporation.
membrane fabrication, modification, characterization, modelling, system
applications in the water treatment/water purification industries.
1. Mass Transfer in Synthetic Membranes
The basic mechanism of transport of solution components through synthetic
is being investigated. This research includes the removal of low molecular
solutes from water by reverse osmosis/nanofiltration and pervaporation.
2. Fabrication of Polymeric Membranes
Membranes are being developed from novel polymeric materials. The emphasis
is on the
investigation of the fundamentals of membrane formation. Skills involved
membranes, membrane modification, evaluation of membrane properties, and
of the microstructure of membranes using for example, SEM, SEM/EDX, FTIR,
NMR and ESCA.
3. System Design and Applications
Theoretical and practical methods of describing membrane systems are
Application of commercial and experimental membranes for specific water
other industries is being investigated. For example, the removal of metal
ions and acids
from industrial waste streams are being investigated.
4. Pervaporation Membranes
Novel membranes are being developed to remove dilute chlorohydrocarbons
wastewater by selective permeation and vaporization through a polymeric
5. Contolled Release in Biosystems
Pore-filled membranes are being developed for the controlled release
of drugs in biological systems. For instance, a controlled release system
is being designed using the pH dependent permeability of pore-filled membranes.
Thus, a drug can be protected in a polymeric shell in the stomach and
released in the intestines where the pH is higher..
Liang, L., Dickson, J.M., Jiang, J., Brook, M.A, “Mass Transfer
of Dilute 1,2-Dimethoxyethane Aqueous Solutions during Pervaporation Process”
J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2006, 100, 2075-2084.
Mika, A.M., Childs, R.F., Dickson, J.M., "Microporous Membranes
and Uses Thereof", McMaster University, filed PCT, issued Canada
Patent 2,268,955, 13 June 2006.
Hu, K., Dickson, J.M., “Nanofiltration Membrane Performance on
Fluoride Removal from Water”, J. Membr. Sci., 2006, 279, 529-538.
Liang, L., Dickson, J.M., Zhu, Z., Jiang, J., Brook, M.A, “Removal
of 1,2-Dichloroethane from Aqueous Solutions with Novel Composite Polydimethylsiloxane
Pervaporation Membranes”, J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2005, 98, 1477-1491.
Garcia-Aleman, J., Dickson, J.M., Mika, A.M., “Experimental Analysis
Modeling, and Theoretical Design of McMaster Pore-filled Nanofiltration
Membranes”, J. Membr. Sci., 2004, 240, 237-255.
Garcia-Aleman, J., Dickson, J.M., “Mathematical Modeling of Nanofiltration
Membranes with Mixed Electrolyte Solutions”, J. Membr. Sci., 2004,
Jiang, W., Childs, R.F., Mika, A.M., Dickson, J.M., “Pore-filled
Cation-exchange Membranes Containing Poly(styrenesulfonic Acid) Gels”,
Desalination, 2003, 159, 253-266.
Childs, R. F., Weng J., Kim M., Dickson J.M., “Formation of Pore-filled
Microfiltration Membranes Using a Combination of Modified Interfacial
Polymerization and Grafting” J. Polym. Sci, A. Polym. Chem., 2002,
Woods, D.R., Kourti, D., Wood, P.E., Sheardown, H., Crowe, C.M., Dickson,
J.M., “Assessing Problem Solving Skills. Part 2: Assessing the Process
of Problem Solving”, Chem. Eng. Ed., 2002, 36(1), 60-67.
Mika, A.M., Childs, R.F., Dickson, J.M., “Salt Separation and
Hydrodynamic Permeability of A Porous Membrane Filled with pH Sensitive
Gel”, J. Membr. Sci., 2002, 206, 19-30.
Ji, J., Dickson, J.M., Childs, R.F., McCarry, B.E., "Mathematical
Model for the Formation of Thin-Film Composite Membranes by Interfacial
Polymerization. Porous Films and Comparison to Experimental Data",
Macromolecules, 2000, 33, 624-633.
Mika, A.M., Childs, R.F., Dickson, J.M., “Ultra-low Pressure Water
Softening: A New Approach to Membrane Construction”, Desalination,
1999, 121, 149-158.
Rilling, K., Dickson, J.M., Childs, R.F., Gagnon, D.R., "Interfacial
Polymerization in a Porous Substrate and Substrates Functionalized with
Photochemical Groups", McMaster University and 3M Company, issued
Patent USA 5,627,217, 1997.