International Conference on Membranes: Environmental and Biological Applications
Sept. 16-19, 2011, Kottayam, Kerala
(Venue: Hotel Windsor Castle, Kottayam)
Organized by the Centre for Environment Education and Technology (CEET), Kottayam
The concept of organizing a conference in Membranes arised from their wide applications in two major areas such as environment and biology. Membranes find application in all major areas such as drinking Water, municipal Wastewater, industrial Wastewater, ultra pure water, recovery/reuse, agriculture, landfill leachate, pharmaceutical, power Generation, pulp and Paper, semiconductor, speciality chemicals and even floating plants. The major objective of this conference (ICM2011) was to bring together chemists, physicists, biologists, environmental scientists and engineers to display their latest findings and to discuss potential avenues in both environmental and biological applications of membranes. It provided a common platform for leading experts on membrane science and technology, and related areas from all over the world.

Delegates of ICM 2011
About 150 participants attended and out of which about 20 were from outside India. Lectures were delivered in the following areas-
Recent Advances in Membrane Science and Technology, Nanomembranes: Fabrication and applications, Membranes in Energy applications, Carbon capture, Catalysis, Water treatment, Macromolecular separation and urification, Chemical/bio sensors, Industrial applications and Biomedical applications
The conference started with the registration on Sept.16, 2011 at the participant’s hotel. The first session was chaired by Prof. G. Golemme, University of Calabria, Italy. The Technical session got started with the presentation of Prof Ashok. M Raichur from IISc Bangalore. He gave talk on nano structured polyelectrolyte capsules and its applications in the field of delivering active molecules. This is followed by a talk on the applications of hollow fibre membrane for active carbon dioxide capture by Prof, Denis Roizard from Nancy University, France. V.V. Tepliakov from Russian Accadeny of Science talked about the Fundementals of membrane and membrane based separation processes and also its environmental issues.

Prof. D. Roizard (left) and Prof. G. Golemme giving lectures
A number of foreign and Indian speakers including C.M Narayanan (NIT, Durgapur), F. Thominette (France), and G. Golemme (University of Calabria, Italy) and E. Caretier (France) gave invited talks on the same day. There was a young investigators session in the afternoon of Sept.17, where 10 young participants below the age of 30 have presented their research findings.
The sessions on Sept.18, was started with the talk “ Applications of Environmentally Binign Solvent (Vegetable Oil) in supported liquid membrane based separation” by Prof. Alok Kumar Ghoshal, Department of Chemical Engineering,IIT, Guwahathi, India. This was followed by the talk of Prof. Nguyen (Rouen University, France) about application of self assembled synthetic membranes for biomedical applications.France,
In the second session of the day, a number of experts such as Dr. Anupam Shukla, (IIT Delhi, India), Lalith Vashishta (Diva Envitec Pvt Ltd, India) and H. Tabaka (Tohoku University, Japan) gave invited talks. A poster session was also organized on the same day. Around 50 posters were presented on this session.

Prof. P. Sysel and Prof. R.Sanderson (Left). Prof. Tepliakov’s Talk
The fourth day, Sept.19, of the conference had 4 full-fledged sessions with invited talks from eminent scientists from both India and abroad. Prof. Ron Sanderson (Stellenbosch University, Russia), Prof. S.K.Thampy (CSMCRI, Bhavnagar), Prof. P. Sysel (Institute of Chemical Technology, CZECH Republic), Prof. G. Arthanareeswaran (NIT, Thiruchirappalli, India), Prof. E. Nagy (University of Pannonia, Hungary), Prof. R. Mercier (France) and K.C. Guptha (IIT, ROORKEE, India) gave invited talks on the last day of the conference.
There was a concluding session in the evening. Three best poster certificates were distributed on the occasion. The speakers of the Young Investigators’ Session were also given certificates.
Important Concussions and Recommendations
The conference gave an avenue for bringing in many experts in the area of membrane research. In the concluding session, a number of suggestions were made by the participants. There was a general feeling among the participants that this conference must be conducted once in every two years. More young participants may be given time for presentation. The poster session may be allotted more time.