Signe Kjelstrup is plenary speaker at InterPore 2020

Professor Signe Kjelstrup has been nominated by the Program Committee to be a plenary speaker at the InterPore 2020 Conference to take place in Qingdao, China, from 25th to 29th May, 2020. Signe will talk about “Addressing the water scarcity problem with thermal osmosis“. Abstract and Bio can be found under. All plenary speakers are announced on the conference webpage.

Tittel: Addressing the water scarcity problem with thermal osmosis

To describe flow in porous media Darcy’s law has been central, and rightly so. The pressure difference, or more generally the chemical potential difference, is a major driving force of flow. Other driving forces for transport, electric and gravitational fields for instance, have more particular applications. Less is known on thermal driving forces for transport in porous media. On the other hand, not only industry, also nature provide large amounts of waste heat. The use of this heat to do useful work, is therefore of interest, theoretically as well as practically.
In this lecture, I will examine the theoretical and practical conditions for a particularly important case of two-phase flow in porous media; namely the flow of water using vapor-gap membranes and a waste heat source to provide a driving force. The phenomenon is called thermal osmosis. In thermal osmosis, heat can be used to clean water and drive a turbine, as well. In nature, the phenomenon can be related to frost heave.
There is a world – wide scarcity of clean water, and the United Nations have declared that the decade 2018-2028 be used to “Avert a global water crisis”. In this contribution to help avert the problem, we shall see that the theoretical basis of non-equilibrium thermodynamics can help understand the mechanism of thermal osmosis. An exact description can then follow and lend itself to experimental control and optimization. Other applications are close at hand.

Signe Kjelstrup is presently a principal investigator of PoreLab Center of Excellence. Born in Oslo in 1949, she made her career at the Norwegian University of science and technology in Trondheim. She received a Master degree in Chemical Engineering, 1972, and PhD in physical chemistry 2 years later, both cum laude.  She was the 2nd female candidate to complete her habilitation at this university, and was personally promoted as professor in 1985. Her main field is non-equilibrium thermodynamics, its foundations and applications. She has published 350 peer reviewed articles and two best-sellers on World Scientific.  She was the main supervisor of 30 PhD. For these efforts she obtained the Guldberg-Waage medal from the Norwegian Chemical Society. She is a member of Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.  She was appointed adjunct professor at the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands, 9 years, and has been visiting guest professor at University of Barcelona, Spain, University of Kyoto, Japan, University of Leiden, The Netherlands, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Ohio, USA. She holds a honorary doctorate from the University of East-China, Shenyang.


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