Research Interests

Sustainable manufacturing is one of the engineering grand challenges of the 21st century.

The Szekely Group focuses on sustainable separations through the synergistic combination of materials science and chemical engineering. Sustainable production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and clean water is largely impacted by the efficiency of separation processes in product supply chains. The conventional separation processes can account for as much as 80% of the total manufacturing costs, contributing ~10% of the world’s energy consumption.

In particular, the group’s research investigates the potential of membranes and molecular imprinting for efficient purification of (bio)pharmaceuticals and water using advanced materials such as metal-organic frameworks, graphene, imprinted polymers, polymers of intrinsic microporosity.

  • Molecular-level separations, in particular adsorbents and membranes
  • Molecular Imprinting
  • Nanofiltration at both membrane fabrication and process development level
  • Green process engineering
  • Hybrid processes
  • Downstream processing of (bio)pharmaceuticals
  • Environmental clean-up
  • Wastewater treatment

Industrial partners

Recent conference contributions

  1. Keynote Address: Sustainable synthesis and separation with solvent-resistant membranes, 2nd International Conference on Membrane Science and Technology, London, UK, 13-14/9/2018
  2. Keynote Address: Advanced Separation Materials for Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing, 3rd International Conference on Design, Analysis, Manufacturing & Simulation, Chennai, India, 6-7/4/2018
  3. Keynote Address & Organizing Committee: Nanofiltration & molecular imprinting for waste utilization, 5th International Conference on Recycling & Waste Management, London, UK, 5-6/3/2018
  4. Keynote Address: Nanofiltration-assisted sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing, International Conference on Energy-efficient Separation (iEESEP), Melbourne, Australia, 23-27/1/2018
  5. Conference organiser: Biotechnological routes to multifunctional materials (funded by BBSRC) Manchester, UK, 28‑29/3/2018
  6. Workshop organiser: Sensor Technologies (funded by British Council), Kuching-Sarawak, Malaysia, 11‑14/12/2017
  7. Invited talk: Towards sustainable manufacturing of drugs with bioinspired polymers, EMN Meeting on Polymer, Auckland, New Zealand, 13-17/3/2017
  8. Keynote Address: Imprinted polymers for sustainable chemical engineering, American Advanced Materials Congress (AAMC), Miami, USA, 4-9/12/2016
  9. Invited workshop seminar: Indo-UK Workshop on Clean Water through Advanced & Affordable Materials, Molecular Imprinting for Clean Water, First Newton Researcher Links workshop in Chennai University jointly organised with Plymouth University, Chennai, India, 8-10/8/2016
  10. Keynote Address: Imprinted materials for molecular level separations, 4th Annual International Conference on Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Chemical Process (CCECP), Singapore, 18‑19/1/2016

Book contributions

Editor: G. Szekely, A.G. Livingston, Sustainable Nanoscale Engineering: From Materials Design to Chemical Processing published by Elsevier, 2018

Book chapters:

  1. M. Razali, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, Organic Solvents in Sustainable Synthesis and Engineering in the book entitled Green Chemistry published by Elsevier, 2017
  2. G. Szekely, C. Didaskalou, Biomimics of metalloenzymes via imprinting chapter in the book entitled Molecularly Imprinted Catalysts: Synthesis and Applications published by Elsevier, 2015
  3. G. Szekely, M.F. Jimenez-Solomon, P. Marchetti, A.G. Livingston, Nanofiltration in Organic Solvents chapter in the book entitled Encyclopedia of Membrane Science published by Wiley, 2013
  4. G. Szekely, Degenotoxification chapter in the book entitled Encyclopedia on Membranes published by Springer, 2012

Research articles

  1. C. Didaskalou, J. Kupai, L. Cseri, J. Barabas, E. Vass, T. Holtzl, G. Szekely, Membrane-grafted asymmetric organocatalyst for an integrated synthesis-separation platform, ACS Catalysis, 2018, 8, 7430. – IF: 11.4
  2. F. Fei, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, C.F. Blanford, Robust Covalently Crosslinked Polybenzimidazole/Graphene Oxide Membranes for High-Flux Organic Solvent NanofiltrationACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2018, 10, 16140. – IF: 7.5
  3. A. Alabi, A. AlHajaj, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, P. Budd, L. Zou, Review of nanomaterials-assisted ion exchange membranes for electromembrane desalination, Clean Water, 2018, 1, 10.
  4. S. Leaper, A. Abdel-Karim, B. Faki, J.M Luque-Alled, M. Alberto, A. Vijayaraghavan, S.M. Holmes, G. Szekely, M.I. Badawy, N. Shokri, P. Gorgojo, Flux-enhanced PVDF mixed matrix membranes incorporating APTS-functionalized graphene oxide for membrane distillation, Journal of Membrane Science, 2018, 554, 309. – IF: 6.0
  5. C. Didaskalou, S. Buyuktiryaki, R. Kecili, C.P. Fonte, G. Szekely, Valorisation of agricultural waste with adsorption/nanofiltration hybrid process: from materials to sustainable process design, Green Chemistry, 2017, 19, 3116. – IF: 9.1
  6. T. Fodi, C. Didaskalou, J. Kupai, G.T. Balogh, P. Huszthy, G. Szekely, Nanofiltration‐enabled in situ solvent and reagent recycle for sustainable continuous‐flow synthesis, ChemSusChem, 2017, 10, 3435. – IF: 7.2
  7. H. A. Le Phuong, L. Cseri, G.F.S. Whitehead, A. Garforth, P. Budd, G. Szekely, Environmentally benign and diastereoselective synthesis of 2,4,5-trisubstituted-2-imidazolines, RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 53278. – IF: 3.1
  8. M. Razali, C. Didaskalou, J.F. Kim, M. Babaei, E. Drioli, Y.M. Lee, G. Szekely, Exploring and Exploiting the Effect of Solvent Treatment in Membrane Separations, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2017, 9(12), 11279. – IF: 7.5
  9. L. Gao, M. Alberto, P. Gorgojo, G. Szekely, P.M. Budd, High-flux PIM-1/PVDF thin film composite membranes for 1-butanol/water pervaporation, Journal of Membrane Science, 2017, 529, 207. – IF: 5.6
  10. J. Kupai, M. Razali, S. Buyuktiryaki, R. Kecili, G. Szekely, Long-term stability and reusability of molecularly imprinted polymers, Polymer Chemistry, 2017, 8, 666. (selected for front cover) – IF: 5.7
  11. R. Sulc, G. Szekely, S. Shinde, C. Wierzbicka, F. Vilela, D. Bauer, B. Sellergren, Phospholipid imprinted polymers as selective endotoxin scavengers, Scientific Reports, 2017, 7, 44299. – IF: 5.2
  12. P. Pogany, M. Razali, G. Szekely, Experimental and theoretical investigation of the complexation of methacrylic acid and diisopropyl urea, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 2017, 170, 69. – IF: 2.7
  13. M. Schaepertoens, C. Didaskalou, A.G. Livingston, G. Szekely, Solvent recycle with imperfect membranes: A semi-continuous workaround for diafiltration, Journal of Membrane Science, 2016, 514, 646. – IF: 5.6
  14. J. Campbell, J.D.S. Burgal, G. Szekely, R.P. Davies, D.C. Braddock, A.G. Livingston, Hybrid Polymer/MOF membranes for Organic Solvent Nanofiltration (OSN): Chemical Modification and the Quest for Perfection, Journal of Membrane Science, 2016, 503, 166. – IF: 5.6
  15. M. Razali, J.F. Kim, M. Attfield, P. Budd, E. Drioli, Y.M. Lee, G. Szekely, Sustainable wastewater treatment and recycling in membrane manufacturing, Green Chemistry, 2015, 17, 5196. – IF: 9.1
  16. J. Kupai, E. Rojik, P. Huszthy, G. Szekely, Role of Chirality and Macroring in Imprinted Polymers with Enantiodiscriminative Power, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015, 7, 9516. – IF: 7.5
  17. J.F. Kim, G. Szekely, M. Schaepertoens, I.B. Valtcheva, M.F. Jimenez-Solomon, A.G. Livingston, In situ solvent recovery by organic solvent nanofiltration, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2014, 2, 2371. – IF: 5.3
  18. G. Szekely, M. Schaepertoens, P.R.J. Gaffney, A.G. Livingston, Beyond PEG2000: Synthesis and Functionalisation of Monodisperse PEGylated Homostars and Clickable Bivalent Polyethyleneglycols, Chemistry – A European Journal, 2014, 20, 10038. – IF: 5.8
  19. G. Szekely, I.B. Valtcheva, J.F. Kim, A.G. Livingston, Molecularly imprinted organic solvent nanofiltration membranes – influencing factors of molecular recognition and solute rejection, Reactive and Functional Polymers, 2015, 86, 215. – IF: 2.7
  20. J. Campbell, G. Szekely, R. Davies, C. Braddock, A.G. Livingston, Fabrication of Hybrid Polymer/Metal Organic Framework Membranes: Mixed Matrix Membranes versus In-Situ Growth, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2014, 2, 9260. – IF: 8.3
  21. J.F. Kim, G. Szekely, I.B. Valtcheva, A.G. Livingston, Increasing the sustainability of membrane processes through cascade approach and solvent recovery — pharmaceutical purification case study, Green Chemistry, 2014, 16, 133. – IF: 9.1
  22. G. Szekely, M. Schaepertoens, P.R.J. Gaffney, A.G. Livingston, Iterative synthesis of monodisperse PEG homostars and linear heterobifunctional PEG, Polymer Chemistry, 2014, 5, 694. – IF: 5.7
  23. G. Szekely, B. Henriques, M. Gil, C. Alvarez, Experimental design for the optimization and robustness testing of a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for the trace analysis of the potentially genotoxic 1,3-diisopropylurea, Drug Testing and Analysis, 2014, 6, 898. – IF: 2.9
  24. G. Szekely, M. Gil, B. Sellergren, W. Heggie, F.C. Ferreira, Environmental and economic analysis for selection and engineering sustainable API degenotoxification processes, Green Chemistry, 2013, 15, 210. – IF: 9.1
  25. G. Szekely, B. Henriques, M. Gil, A. Ramos, C. Alvarez, Design of experiments as a tool for LC-MS/MS method development for the trace analysis of the potentially genotoxic 4-dimethylaminopyridine impurity in glucocorticoids, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2012, 70, 251. – IF: 3.2
  26. G. Szekely, J. Bandarra, W. Heggie, F.C. Ferreira, B. Sellergren, Design, preparation and characterization of novel molecularly imprinted polymers for removal of potentially genotoxic 1,3-diisopropylurea from API solutions, Separation and Purification Technology, 2012, 86, 190. – IF: 3.3
  27. G. Szekely, J. Bandarra, W. Heggie, B. Sellergren, F.C. Ferreira, A hybrid approach to reach stringent low genotoxic impurity contents in active pharmaceutical ingredients: combining molecularly imprinted polymers and organic solvent nanofiltration for removal of 1,3-diisopropylurea), Separation and Purification Technology, 2012, 86, 79. Selected to be featured in Advances in Engineering, 2012. – IF: 3.3
  28. G. Szekely, E. Fritz, J. Bandarra, W. Heggie, B. Sellergren, Removal of potentially genotoxic acetamide and arylsulfonate impurities from crude drugs by molecular imprinting, Journal of Chromatography A, 2012, 1240, 52. – IF: 3.9
  29. G. Szekely, B. Csordas, V. Farkas, J. Kupai, P. Pogany, Zs. Santa, Z. Szakacs, T. Toth, M. Hollosi, J. Nyitrai, P. Huszthy, Synthesis and preliminary structural and binding characterization of new enantiopure crown ethers containing an alkyl diarylphosphinate or a proton-ionizable diarylphosphinic acid unit, European Journal of Organic Chemisry, 2012, 3396. – IF: 3.1
  30. G. Szekely, J. Bandarra, W. Heggie, B. Sellergren, F.C. Ferreira, Organic solvent nanofiltration: A platform for removal of genotoxins from active pharmaceutical ingredients, Journal of Membrane Science 2011, 381 (1-2) 21. – IF: 5.6
  31. P. Huszthy, V. Farkas, T. Toth, G. Szekely, M. Hollosi, Synthesis and preliminary studies on novel enantiopure crown ethers containing an alkyl diarylphosphinate or a proton-ionizable diarylphosphinic acid unit, Tetrahedron 2008, 64, 10107. – IF: 2.6
  32. G. Szekely, V. Farkas, L. Parkanyi, T. Toth, M. Hollosi, P. Huszthy, Crystal structures of crown ethers containing an alkyl diarylphosphinate or a diarylphosphinic acid unit, Structural Chemistry 2010, 21, 277. – IF: 1.9
  33. G. Szekely, P. Huszthy, T. Toth, Synthesis of novel optically active crown ethers containing an alkyl diarylphosphinate or a proton-ionizable diarylphosphinic acid unit and their achiral analogues, Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering 2009, 53/1, 25. – IF: 0.5
  34. G. Szekely, M. Gil, W. Heggie, B. Sellergren, Genotoxic impurities in pharmaceutical manufacturing, Hungarian Chemical Journal 2012, LXVII, 2, 34.

Review articles

  1. L. Cseri, T. Fodi, J. Kupai, G.T. Balogh, A. Garforth, G. Szekely, Membrane-assisted catalysis in organic media, Advanced Materials Letters, 2017, 8(12), 1094. – IF: 1.5
  2. R. Taheri, A. Razmjou, G. Szekely, J. Hou, G.R. Ghezelbash, Biodesalination — On harnessing the potential of Nature’s desalination processes, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 2016, 11(4), 41001. – IF: 2.9
  3. G. Szekely, M.C.A. Sousa, M. Gil, F.C. Ferreira, W. Heggie, Genotoxic Impurities in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: Sources, Regulations, and Mitigation, Chemical Reviews, 2015, 115, 8182. – IF: 47.9
  4. G. Szekely, M.F. Jimenez-Solomon, P. Marchetti, J.F. Kim, A.G. Livingston, Sustainability Assessment of Organic Solvent Nanofiltration: from Fabrication to Application, Green Chemistry, 2014, 16, 4440. (selected for front cover) – IF: 9.1
  5. P. Marchetti, M.F. Jimenez-Solomon, G. Szekely, A.G. Livingston, Molecular Separation with Organic Solvent Nanofiltration: A Critical Review, Chemical Reviews, 2014, 114, 10735. – IF: 47.9