Syed Z Islam

R&D Associate Staff Scientist

I am a Staff Scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Prior to joining ORNL in 2018, I worked for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as a Postdoctoral Research Associate after completing my Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky in 2017. I perform both basic and applied research. I have a wide range of research interests including novel advanced materials and energy-efficient processes for clean energy and clean water technologies. The focus of my research is the development of energy-efficient membrane technologies for gas separation such as CO2 capture and separation, hydrogen gas separation, the recovery and separation of critical materials including rare earth elements and battery materials, and desalination. I am also interested in developing advanced functional nanomaterials for solar energy conversion and environmental remediation. Two of the technologies on membrane solvent extraction that I co-invented have been licensed to industries for commercialization. 

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13. 2020 ORNL Innovation Award
12. Best Lightning Talk Award, 7th Annual Oak Ridge Postdoctoral Association Research Symposium, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2019.
11. Outstanding Graduate Student Award, University of Kentucky, 2017.
10. Outstanding Poster Presentation Award, KY NSF EPSCoR Super Collider Symposium, Lexington, KY, 2017.
9. Dissertation Enhancement Award, University of Kentucky, 2016.
8. North American Membrane Society Student Stipend Award, 2016.
7. Center of Membrane Sciences 2016 Ph.D. Student Fellow Award, University of Kentucky, 2016.
6. Selected for 18th U.S. National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering, sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and US Department of Energy, 2016.
5. 1st Place Poster Award, Chemical and Materials Engineering Symposium, University of Kentucky, 2015.
4. University of Kentucky Graduate School Travel Award, 2014-2016.
3. UKFCU ScholarConnect Scholarship, 2014.
2. Certificate for Scholarly Accomplishments and Excellence in Academic Performance at North Carolina A&T State University, 2010-2011.
1. University Technical Scholarship, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh, 2004-2008.


4. Ramesh Bhave, Priyesh Wagh, Syed Z. Islam, A novel energy efficient membrane-based process for concentration and recovery of lithium containing solutions, US Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 63/208,624, June 9, 2021.
3. Ramesh Bhave, Syed Z. Islam, Priyesh Wagh, Recovery of critical elements from end-of-life lithium ion batteries with supported membrane solvent extraction, U.S. Patent Application No. 16/884,189, May 27, 2020.
2. Ramesh Bhave, Syed Z. Islam, Separation of rare earth elements using supported membrane solvent extraction, PCT, International Patent Pub. No.: WO 2021/150208A1, July 29, 2021 (International Patent Application NO: PCT/US 2020/014363, January 21, 2020).
1. Ramesh Bhave, Syed Z. Islam, Vishwanathan G. Deshmane, Separation of rare earth elements using supported membrane solvent extraction, US Patent Pub. No.: US 2020/0056264 A1 (US Patent Application No. 16/537,759 August 12, 2019) (Notice of allowance received in December 2021).