Grant Details

Process Separations

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    National Science Foundation (NSF)


    The Process Separations program is part of the Chemical Process Systems cluster, which includes also 1) Catalysis; 2) Process Systems, Reaction Engineering, and Molecular Thermodynamics; and 3) Energy for Sustainability.

    The Process Separations program supports research focused on novel methods and materials for separation processes, such as those central to the chemical, biochemical, bioprocessing, materials, energy, and pharmaceutical industries. A fundamental understanding of the interfacial, transport, and thermodynamic behavior of multiphase chemical systems as well as quantitative descriptions of processing characteristics in the process-oriented industries is critical for efficient resource management and effective environmental protection. The program encourages proposals that address long standing challenges and emerging research areas and technologies, have a high degree of interdisciplinary work coupled with the generation of fundamental knowledge, and the integration of education and research.

    Research topics of particular interest include fundamental molecular-level work on:
    • Design of scalable mass separating agents and/or a mechanistic understanding of the interfacial thermodynamics and transport phenomena that relate to purification of gases, chemicals, or water
    • Design or improvement of mass separation agents or processes that are based upon, and advance, transport principles
    • Downstream purification of biologically derived chemicals for increased throughput
    • Field (flow, magnetic, electrical) induced separations and other innovative approaches that address a significant reduction in energy and/or materials requirements in the process industries

    History of Funding

    A map of recent awards made through this program can be seen at

    Additional Information

    NOTE: Proposals concerning the separation of components from blood with simultaneous detection using sensors for the purpose of biomedical diagnostic should be redirected to the Nano-Biosensing program (7909).  Proposals that deal with deployment or improved performance of existing materials for water purification should be redirected to the Environmental Engineering program (1440). 

    Proposals submitted to solicitations, such as the CAREER program, must meet the respective deadlines of those solicitations. There is no deadline for workshop or supplement proposals, proposals for EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), or Rapid Response Grants (RAPID). As noted below, PIs are strongly encouraged to discuss their requests with the Program Director before submission of proposals of this nature.


    Angela Lueking

    Angela Lueking
    4201 Wilson Boulevard
    Arlington', VA 22230
    (703) 292-2161
    (703) 292-9054

  • Eligibility Details

    NSF welcomes proposals on behalf of all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to participate fully in its programs. Scientists, engineers and educators usually initiate proposals that are officially submitted by their employing organization. Eligible organizations include academic institutions, non-profit and for-profit organizations; state and local governments; and others.

    Deadline Details

    Proposals are accepted throughout the year.

    Award Details

    The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years. The typical award size for the program is around $100,000 per year.  Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review.


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