November 7, 2020

Webinar on ‘Advancement of Membrane Technology for Societal, Medical and Industrial Applications’


Department of Chemical Engineering, MVJCE, organised a webinar on ‘Advancement of Membrane Technology for Societal, Medical and Industrial Applications’. The Resource Person was Dr. Surya Murali Racha, working as Senior Research Scientist in Refining R&D of Reliance Industries Limited at Navi Mumbai. The webinar was conducted as Microsoft teams live event, from 2 to 4 pm, on 07.11.2020.


The webinar was attended by 200 participants (faculty and students) from inside and outside MVJCE.

About the Speaker

Dr. Surya Murali has obtained his Masters and PhD degrees from Osmania University, Hyderabad. After obtaining PhD, he worked with Johor Bahru (UTM) team in Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, as postdoc. He has 14 years of experience in Membrane Technology for liquid and gas separation applications and has received various national level technology awards for his research accolades. Dr. Surya has worked on and commissioned various projects. The following are the commercial projects Dr. Surya has worked on, during his research work:

  1. Developed novel membrane material and commissioned the first pilot plant in the country for the sweetening of 100 Nm3/hr of Natural gas at ONGC, Hazira, in December 2006.
  2. Developed metal-incorporated membranes for recovery of propylene from refinery off-gas for HPCL, Visakhapatnam.
  3. Successfully commissioned and demonstrated five defluoridation plants of 1000 L/h capacity each, – including three in remote villages in Nalgonda District, namely, Rachakonda, Allapur and Marlapadu – besides one plant in Warangal and one in Mahbubnagar under a DST project scheme.
  4. Provided assistance in feasibility studies, design and installation of 4000 L/h reverse osmosis plant at Karamchedu village, Prakasam District, for Sri Yarlagadda Ranganayakulu Foundation.

A brief Account of the webinar

The session started with the welcome address by Dr. Mahabaleswarappa, Principal, MVJCE. Our Principal welcomed the online audience and the Guest Speaker. He highlighted the necessity for this webinar session and discussed the significance of membrane technology in the present era.

The Guest Speaker Dr. Surya Murali started the presentation with an introduction to Reliance Industries India Limited, their business wings and the role of the ‘Make in India’ concept. Then he outlined the basics of membrane technology by elaborating the membrane processes and their classification, along with membrane properties and membrane modules, their advantages and disadvantages.

The Speaker elaborated on the treatment of seawater, brackish water, wastewater and ground water, and their necessity for societal benefits, and also addressed the future challenges that need to be overcome. Hemodialysis (artificial kidney) membrane, oxygenarator (artificial lung), and air separation techniques for obtaining pure O2 and N2 were described elaborately as the advancement in membrane technology for medical applications. The topics covered under industrial applications included sweetening of natural gas, CO2 capture and utilization, H2 production and recovery, olefin-paraffin separation, and separations of complex hydrocarbon mixtures. The Speaker concluded his presentation highlighting the fact that membrane technology is an attractive alternative, signifying the role of membranes in societal, medical and industrial applications. Development of novel membrane materials, module design and modelling are niche areas of research.

After the presentation, there was a Q&A session in which the Guest Speaker addressed the queries of attendees posted in the Q&A chat box in Microsoft Teams.

The webinar session concluded with vote of thanks to MVJCE Management, Principal, COE and Vice Principal of MVJCE, for giving the participants this opportunity to gain awareness of the advancements of separation techniques, especially membrane technology. The event organizers are grateful to the Guest Speaker Dr. Surya Murali Racha for presenting the latest developments in membrane technology and its applications in the present scenario. A special mention to ITHELPDESK and team, for their technical support during the online session.

Outcome of the Webinar

The webinar enabled the attendees to build and strengthen their knowledge in membrane technology and its applications in the present scenario. The session has created awareness around the broad array of career opportunities that are available for Chemical Engineers, opportunities related to separation techniques, especially membrane technology. The attendees were gifted with information and knowledge about industry needs, latest technical appraisals in membranes, and research in advanced membrane technology and related fields.

Dr. Sayanasri Varala


Assoc. Professor, CH