Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Christa N. Hestekin and Jamie A. Hestekin

Committee Member

Jorge L. Almodovar Montanez

Second Committee Member

Audie K. Thompson

Third Committee Member

Hanna A. Jensen


Bipower cells, electrodialysis, human blood, RED biopower cell, IEMs, Ion exchange membranes


As substantial developments were achieved in nanotechnology and polymer engineering, especially in the last few decades, the use of membranes and membrane-based procedures was found to be expanding into more and more research and development areas; including biological engineering, life sciences and biomedical engineering. Not only have they been the main focus of meaningful research, but they have also been the main pieces of the solutions to very thorny problems encountered within a wide range of applications from microfluidics to water treatment, thanks to their versatility, cost-effectiveness and biocompatibility, when compared to conventional separation techniques. To celebrate and embrace these qualities, the current research focuses on several impactful membrane-based approaches including reverse electrodialysis (RED) (Chapters 2 and 3), electrodeionization (EDI) (Chapter 4) and hemodialysis (HD) (Chapter 5) and their implementations for biomedical engineering applications. Moreover, this dissertation aims to offer a helpful reference for novel technologies including the development of an external hollow fiber membrane salt cartridge to boost the performance of a reverse electrodialysis cell, and a unique activated ion exchange technology that could be adapted into selective electrolyte removal in various ion-exchange based aqueous treatment applications. As we continue to thrive to solve the mysteries created by fluid-solid surface interactions, membrane technologies will remain to be a strong tool to navigate the humanity in his endless journey.