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W.S. Winston Ho

  • Distinguished Professor of Eng, Chemical & Biomolecular Eng
  • 458 CBEC
    151 W. Woodruff Ave.
    Columbus, OH 43210-1350
  • 614-292-9970

About

Education

  • B.S., National Taiwan University, 1966
  • M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 1969
  • Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 1971

 

Top Honors and Achievements

  • Elected member of Academia Sinica, the highest form of academic recognition in the Republic of China in Taiwan, 2015
  • National Academy of Engineering, U.S.A., 2002
  • Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2006
  • Clarence G. Gerhold Award, Separations Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2007
  • Lawrence B. Evans Award in Chemical Engineering Practice, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2012
  • Fellow, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2009-
  • 98 Patents and Patent Applications, including 55 U. S. Patents
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award and Keynote Speech, Centennial Celebration of Wan-Li Elementary School, Wan-Li, New Taipei City, Taiwan, March 31, 2013
  • Invited John A. Quinn Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, April 25, 2012
  • Invited Distinguished Lecturer, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, April 14, 2011
  • Chemcon Distinguished Speaker Award, Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2004
  • Perkin Elmer Professor R. Kumar Chemcon Distinguished Speaker Award, Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2004
  • Inventor of the Year, New Jersey Inventors Congress and Hall of Fame, 1991
  • Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award for the most outstanding engineering work, 1993
  • Industrial Research 100 Award, 1985

 

RESEARCH AREAS - Ho Research Group
  • Molecularly Based Membrane Separations, Co2-Selective Membranes, Fuel Cell Membranes, Transport Phenomena in Membranes, Water Purification, and Separations with Chemical Reaction
  • Expert in molecularly based separations including definition of approaches, design of practical systems, scale-up and commercialization.
  • Specialized in membranes and separations including polymer and liquid membranes, fuelcell fuel processing and membranes, separations with chemical reaction, supported liquid membranes, reverse osmosis, gas treating, pervaporation, and facilitated transport.
  • Graduate student research opportunities are currently available.

  • PUBLICATIONS AND PATENTS

 

Research Description

My research group is engaged in research in new membranes and materials for separations and fuel cells including those briefed below.  

New Membranes for Hydrogen Purification and Carbon Capture 

We are developing new membranes and membrane processes for energy, environmental and biochemical applications, including a novel CO2-selective membrane process in conjunction with water-gas-shift (WGS) reaction for the purification of H2 for fuel cells.  The new process is based on the facilitated transport mechanism, in which CO2 transport through the membrane is enhanced with reaction in the membrane, and H2 is rejected by the membrane due to absence of reaction 

This work involves the synthesis, characterization, and modeling of new CO2-selective membranes that would achieve the purification process.  The membranes synthesized comprise primary, secondary and tertiary amines in polymer networks.  We have identified membranes with high CO2 permeability and CO2 / H2 selectivity at 50 – 180oC.  As expected, the permeability has increased as temperature increases.  However, the selectivity has also increased as temperature increases; this is impossible for a membrane based on the solution-diffusion mechanism.  The selectivity increase is due to the facilitated transport with a higher CO2-amine reaction rate and lower H2 solubility in the membrane as temperature increases.    

We have developed a non-isothermal model for the countercurrent WGS membrane reactor and elucidated the effects of system parameters on the reactor for synthesis gases from steam and autothermal reforming.  The modeling results have shown that H2 enhancement via CO2 removal and CO reduction to <10 ppm are achievable.  Our recent experiments have verified these results.  The scale-up of the CO2-selective membrane for hydrogen purification for fuel cells is in progress.  The investigation of the membranes for other applications, including CO2 capture for sequestration, H2S from syngas, CO2 and H2S from biogas, and CO2 from flue gas and confined space air, is underway.  Recently, we have achieved clean-up of H2S to <10 ppb in a syngas.  

New Proton-Exchange Membranes   

We have synthesized new proton-exchange membranes (PEMs) from copolymers containing sulfonated polybenzimidazole and polyimide hard segments for proton conductivity as well as hydrophilic soft segments for water retention.  The PEMs have shown high conductivity at 25 – 120oC.  The new membranes can enable the widespread application of PEM fuel cells. 

Water Purification

We have studied a new concept of incorporating hydrophilic groups chemically into membrane structure to provide an additional pathway for water transport and to overcome the low hydrophilicity/flux issue inherent in interfacially polymerized aromatic polyamide membranes.  This work has resulted in >100% increase in water flux vs. the industry standard Film-Tec FT-30 membrane while maintaining a high NaCl rejection of >99%.  In addition, recent advances on supported liquid membranes (SLMs) with strip dispersion have been for the removal and recovery of (1) heavy metals, including chromium, copper, zinc, and strontium and (2) organic compounds from wastewaters.  

Nanoporous Membranes for Bioengineering

Extending nanoporous membranes, including SLMs with strip dispersion, for bioengineering is in progress.  This includes the recovery of products from fermentation broths and the controlled release of drugs.  The research involves the synthesis and characterization of new nanoporous membranes with controlled morphology and new extractants with high specificity towards the target species, e.g., Cephalexin and Interferon α.  The characterization includes (1) transport enhancement and mechanisms and (2) reaction kinetics and stoichiometry at membrane interfaces.  

 

Honors

  • 2015

    Chemcon Distinguished Speaker Award. .

  • 2015

    1. Distinguished Alumnus Award, the 70th Anniversary of the Department of Chemical Engineering. .

  • 2015

    Honorary Professor. .

  • 2014

    Academician, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. .

  • 2014

    nvited Keynote Lecturer. .

  • 2014

    Invited Lecturer, Bent Seminar, “New Developments on Membranes for CO2 and Water Separations". .

  • 2014

    Three AIChE Sessions honoring Winston Ho. .

  • 2014

    Invited Keynote Lecture. .

  • 2013

    Distinguished Alumnus Award and Keynote Speech. .

  • 2012

    Lawrence B. Evans Award in Chemical Engineering Practice. .

  • 2012

    Invited John A. Quinn Lecturer in Chemical Engineering. .

  • 2011

    Invited Distinguished Lecturer. .

  • 2011

    Co-winner of Graduate Research Paper Award in Separations. .

  • 2010

    Lumley Research Award. .

  • 2010

    Invited Guest Distinguished Research Chair Professor. .

  • 2010

    Invited Commencement Speaker. .

  • 2009

    Meeting Program Chairman. .

  • 2009

    First Place Graduate Research Poster Paper Award. .

  • 2009

    Excellence and Appreciation Award. .

  • 2007-2009

    Invited Member. .

  • 2007-2009

    Invited Member. .

  • 2009

    Fellowship. .

  • 2008

    Innovators Award. .

  • 2008

    Invited Shell Chair Professor. .

  • 2007

    Graduate Research Paper Award in Separations, Separations Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2007, Co-winner of this award with my Ph.D. student, Mr. He Bai.. .

  • 2007

    Invited Guest Professor. .

  • 2007

    Clarence G. Gerhold Award, Separations Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2007. .

  • 2006

    Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology. .

  • 2006

    Invited Shell Chair Professor. .

  • 2005

    Invited Guest Chair Professor of Membranes. .

  • 2005

    Invited Member. .

  • 2005

    Invited University Advisor. .

  • 2004

    Perkin Elmer Chemcon Distinguished Speaker Award. .

  • 2004

    Invited Member. .

  • 2002

    Election to the National Academy of Engineering, U.S.A.. .

  • 2002

    Election to Chairman of the Board of Chinese-American Chemical Society (CACS), 2002. .

  • 2000

    Meeting Program Chairman. .

  • 2000

    Excellence and Appreciation Award. .

  • 1997

    Chairman, AIChE Separations Division. .

  • 1992-1993

    Director. .

  • 1993

    Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award for the most outstanding engineering work, 1993.

  • 1991

    Inventor of the Year. .

  • 1985

    Honorable Mention. .

  • 1985

    Industrial Research 100 Award.