Zi Hao Foo

Zi Hao Foo is a PhD candidate whose research interests focus on water treatment strategies for chemical separations. Specifically, he is working on sustainable systems for accessing non- traditional sources of critical minerals such as lithium. A MathWorks Fellowship will support his innovative research in two primary areas. The first is creating computational models for multicomponent solution-diffusion in forward and counterflow reverse osmosis; his most recent models reproduce data more accurately than existing models by a factor of 10. His second focus is the use of dimethyl ether (DME) for solvent extraction of water from high-salinity brines. Zi Hao has created high-accuracy models for the conditions likely in a practical water-DME separation system that can dewater brines (to produce clean water) or cause fractional precipitation of solutes (useful in the recovery of minerals and metals from saline streams). Zi Hao’s research, which makes extensive use of MATLAB tools, has strong potential to advance novel approaches in sustainable lithium and water harvesting and to move the clean energy industry forward.



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