Marcel Mulder Award 2020 goes to Ettore Virga
The Marcel Mulder Prize has been awarded to PhD researcher Ettore Virga at Wetsus for his research on a novel zwitterionic polymer that can be applied on membranes to make them less prone to fouling.
The award of 5,000 euro was handed out by scientific director Cees Buisman at Wetsus, European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, on 26 November.
This prize honours the late professor Marcel Mulder, who planted the seed for Wetsus. Every year, a PhD researcher of Wetsus is selected for the most exceptional performance in the field of water technology.
The award ceremony had originally been scheduled for the European Water Technology Week in September. However, because of the Covid pandemic the event was cancelled and will now take place in 2022.
Anti-fouling of membranes
Ettore is doing his research in the Concentrates Theme at Wetsus. He has invented a new generation of membranes that can prevent fouling even in the most adverse conditions.
The novel zwitterionic polymer has been successfully coated on membranes to make them less prone to fouling. In this way, the industry will use less energy and chemical consumption for water filtration. The coating can be applied to any surface where fouling needs to be avoided, creating an even bigger impact.
Ettore Virga earned his master degree for Chemical Process Engineering at the University of Palermo, Italy in 2017. As PhD researcher he already has published 6 papers on his new technology, all in high ranking journals.
He is now in charge of coordinating the Concentrates Theme while finishing his PhD research.
Last year, the Marcel Mulder Prize was awarded to PhD researcher Yang for his research on an electrochemical based technology for phosphate recovery from waste streams.