Dr. Seok-Jhin Kim

EPSCoR Research Focus: 
Focus Area 3: Variable & Marginal Quality Water Supplies (V-MQW)
Asst. Professor
School of Chemical Engineering
Oklahoma State University
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B.S. | Chemical Engineering | Yonsei University, Korea | 1999
M.S. | Chemical Engineering | Yonsei University, Korea | 2001
Ph.D. | Chemical Engineering | University of Cincinatti, USA | 2011
Research Interests: 

Dr. Seok-Jhin Kim, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Oklahoma State University, is a member of the OK NSF EPSCoR Track-1 RII Award titled Socially Sustainable Solutions for Water, Carbon, and Infrastructure Resilience in Oklahoma. The $20 million research project is a social science-led, multi-disciplinary collaboration among social, physical, biological, engineering, and computational scientists. More than thirty researchers from across the state are working together on the project, which began July 1, 2020.

Dr. Kim's research supports the project's Focus Area 3: Variable and Marginal Quality Water Supplies (V-MQW). The V-MQW Supplies focus area addresses issues surrounding Oklahoma’s water demands, which are projected to increase 600,000 acre-feet per year between 2007-2060. Reliable water supplies are needed to provide for these demands while meeting the state’s goal of capping freshwater use to 2010 levels. However, freshwater supplies are declining due to reservoir sedimentation and groundwater overdraft and are increasingly vulnerable to S2S variability. Concurrently, volumes of oil and gas ‘produced water,’ municipal wastewater, and stormwater are increasing with continued oil and gas development and urbanization. Disposal of produced waters has been correlated with seismicity, potentially impacting infrastructure and resulting in energy production curtailment in some regions. The challenge is finding a mix of solutions that allow Oklahoma’s diverse array of MQW to be economically treated for beneficial use to address water scarcity related to changing seasonal to sub-seasonal weather patterns, waste disposal, and infrastructure risk while supporting continued energy production and economic growth.

Dr. Kim's Research Activities on this Project

To support the OK NSF EPSCoR research project, Dr. Kim and his team will use nanotechnology to modify wettability of membranes to more effectively remove hydrocarbons from water and enhance water flux through the membrane. We will test a continuous-flow system to quantify the impact of time on the nanoparticle-modified membranes and evaluate the fouling tendency of the membranes. 

Dr. Kim's Major Areas of Research

  • Membranes and Thin Films of Nanostructured Materials

  • Controlled-Pore-Size Membranes for Water Purification and Gas Separation

  • Gas Transport and Diffusion Study in Modified-Pore Membranes

The Kim lab's recent research has focused on the science and technology of inorganic membranes and thin films of nanoporous membranes (zeolite, silica, metal-organic framework, and graphene oxide). The research aims to address key fundamental issues that will allow the development of cost-effective and energy-saving membranes for uses such as water purification (produced water treatment and desalination) and chemical separations.

Overall, the program will provide novel molecular engineering concepts for usefully controlling pore structure in the membranes. Researchers will develop the overarching concept of precisely controlled pore modification of the membranes based upon strategies that involve catalytic cracking deposition (CCD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), atomic layer deposition (ALD), sol-gel methods, and spacer techniques.

Kim and his colleagues will particularly focus on novel strategies based upon new understanding of molecular diffusion in modified-pore materials and membranes. Hence, these fundamental works will contribute to the development of membrane-based systems for industrial applications in clean and sustainable energy technologies.

Learn more about the OK NSF EPSCoR research project.

Key Publications: 
  • S. Gaikwad, S.-J. Kim and S. Han, Novel metal–organic framework of UTSA-16 (Zn) synthesized by a microwave method: Outstanding performance for CO2 capture with improved stability to acid gases, J. Ind. Eng. Chem. 277 (2020) 253-260.
  • G. Mahmodi, S. Dangwal, P. Zarrintaj, M. Zhu, Y. Mao, D.N. Mcllroy, M.R. Saeb, V. Vatanpour, J.D. Ramsey, S.-J. Kim, NaA Zeolite-Coated Meshes with Tunable Hydrophilicity for Oil-Water Separation. Sep. Purif. Technol., 240 (2020) 116630.
  • G. Mahmodi, P. Zarrintaj, N. M. Ghalehlari, S. Dangwal, A. Ronte, M. R. Ganjali, S. M. Hamad, S.-J. Kim, M. R. Saeb, From Microporous to Mesoporous Mineral Frameworks: An Alliance between Zeolite and Chitosan. Carbohydr. Res., 489 (2020), 107930.

  • S. Dangwal, R. Liu, L. D. Bastatas, E. Echeverria, C. Huang, Y. Mao, D. N. Mcllroy, S.-J. Kim, ZnO Microfiltration Membranes for Desalination by a Vacuum Flow-Through Evaporation Method. Membranes 9(12) (2019), 156.

  • S. Dangwal, R. Liu, S. Gaikwad, S. Han, S.-J. Kim, Zeolite Membrane Reactor for High-Temperature Isobutane Dehydrogenation Reaction: Experimental and Modeling Studies. Chem. Eng. Process. Process Intensif. 142 (2019) 107583.
  • S. Dangwal, R. Liu, S.V. Kirk, S.-J. Kim, Effect of Pressure on Ethane Dehydrogenation in MFI Zeolite Membrane Reactor. Energy & Fuels. 32 (2018) 4628-4637.
  • S. Dangwal, R. Liu, S.-J. Kim, High Temperature Ethane Dehydrogenation in Microporous Zeolite Membrane Reactor: Effect of Operating Conditions, Chem. Eng. J. 328 (2017) 862-872.
  • F. Rashidi, J. Leisen, S.-J. Kim, A. A. Rownaghi, C. W. Jones, S. Nair, All-Nanoporous Hybrid Membranes: Redefining Upper Limits on Molecular Separation Properties. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 131 (2019), 242-245.
  • R. Liu, Y.R. A.K. Yegya, I. Shaik, C. Aichele, S.-J. Kim, Inorganic Microfiltration Membranes Incorporated with Hydrophilic Silica Nanoparticles for Oil-in-Water Emulsion Separation. J. Water Process Eng., 26 (2018) 124-130.
  • H. Lin, R. Liu, S. Dangwal, S.-J. Kim, N. Mehra, Y. Li, J. Zhua, Permselective H2/CO2 Separation and Desalination of Hybrid GO/rGO Membranes with Controlled Pre-crosslinking. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. 10 (2018) 28166-28175. 
  • R. Liu, S. Young, S. Dangwal,  I. Shaik, E. Echeverria, D. McIlroy, C. Aichele, S.-J. Kim, Boron-introduced MFI-type zeolite-coated mesh for oil-water separation. Colloids Surf., A. 550 (2018) 108–114.
  • H. Lin, S. Dangwal, R. Liu, S.-J. Kim, Y. Li, J. Zhu, Reduced Wrinkling in GO Membrane by Grafting Basal-plane Groups for Improved Gas and Liquid Separations. J. Membr. Sci. 563 (2018) 336–344.
Curriculum Vitae: