IEX Organising Committee report of another successful meeting

Held at Robinson College, Cambridge from 6 - 8 July the meeting lived up to its strap-line ‘Ion Exchange - A Continuing Success Story’ with 150 delegates from 25 countries presenting over 100 papers. A wide range of applications were covered in three parallel sessions including water treatment; hydrometallurgy; catalysis, bioprocessing, nano-exchangers; ion exchange membranes; novel selective adsorbents; ion imprinted polymers, zeolites, nuclear applications, etc.

Photo: (L-R) Professor Yu Komatsu (Japanese member of ICIX), with Prof Nalan Kabay (Turkish incoming secretary of ICIX) and Prof Michael Cox (retiring secretary ICIX)

Two plenary papers were presented, by Prof Spiro Alexandratos, (CUNY, USA) covering developments from ion exchange resins to polymer-supported reagents, and Dr Rudolf Wagner, (LANXESS GmbH, Germany) gave a retrospective on optimising industrial IX applications based on 30 years’ experience. These were supported by keynote papers including presentations on European regulatory requirements on ion exchange resins by Katrin Wieland (LANXESS) on behalf of the SOIA group of Cefic; novel aspects of resins in catalysis (Prof Fidel Cunill, Barcelona University), and an overview of current and future applications in hydrometallurgy (Dr Kathy Sole, South Africa).

The meeting attracted a number of research students from universities around the world and the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology generously supplied two student prizes, the oral prize was awarded to Beau Van Vaerenbergh (Ghent University) and the poster prize to Elton Dias (Imperial College, London).

At the conference dinner held in St John’s College, Sharon Todd, SCI Executive Director, presented SCI Ion Exchange Awards to: Prof Emeritus Michael Cox, Dr Richard Harries and Dr Rudolf Wagner for their lifetime achievements in ion exchange and support of the IEX Conferences.

For the 3rd time since their introduction in 2008, SCI ran training courses on ion exchange prior to the main conference. They comprised a two-day course, covering many important aspects related to ion exchange in industrial water purification and, in parallel, two specialist one day courses for more experienced staff covering: 1) troubleshooting ion exchange plant problems, and 2) the use of design programmes to size new and model existing plants. The presentations were given by European experts from leading resin manufacturers (Dow, LANXESS, Purolite), and experienced UK industry consultants and plant suppliers, ensuring people with a wide range of experience and expertise were able to pass on some important and invaluable knowledge to the attendees.

All courses were well supported above target levels and an exhibition ran throughout the two days allowing useful industry contacts to be made during refreshment/meal breaks.

A feature by Maria Burke covering some of the papers presented in Cambridge has been published in issue 7 of C&I (2016).

Prof Michael Cox
IEX Organising Committee

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