IEX 2012 attracts a global audience

18 Dec 2012

The latest in this series of SCI conferences held every four years since 1976 was held at Queens’ College Cambridge in September. Twenty-six countries, including for the first time Chile and Venezuela, were represented among the over 160 delegates. The wide appeal of this conference was demonstrated by the almost equally distribution of participants from academia (51%) and industry (49%) which led to fruitful discussions during and outside the formal sessions. The programme of the 3½ day meeting was organised in two parallel sessions to accommodate the 51 oral presentations and in addition 34 poster papers were displayed. The topics covered included applications in: Industrial and Potable Water Treatment, Hydrometallurgy, Environment, Catalysis, Nuclear Power Generation and Biofuels and, in addition papers were presented on: Fundamentals, Adsorbents and Novel Extractants. For the first time, rather than producing a hard copy of all the papers, extended abstracts were published in hard copy with the full final papers distributed in electronic form. This arrangement gave delegates a hard copy for use during the conference and also provided authors with freedom from any page limitation and allowed the use of colour and later submission of material. This new arrangement seemed to gain approval from the delegates and certainly helped the Organising Committee.

Included in the presentations there were four papers on technologies to clean-up radioactive contamination following the Fukushima incident in Japan and a review of the developments in the application of ion exchange in hydrometallurgy. It is hoped to publish these papers in the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology in 2013.

Since the last Conference in 2008 the deaths occurred of members of the European ion exchange community, Professor Wolfgang Höll and David Naden. Wolfgang was a regularly attended these conferences and was a valued member of the International Committee. For his help over many years he was awarded the SCI Ion Exchange Award in 2004. David Naden was first associated with IEX in 1984 when he was co-chairman of the meeting. He continued to be involved in these meetings and at the time of his death he was Chairman of the IEX2012 Committee an in recognition of his services to the Separation Science and Technology Group and the IEX conferences he was posthumously awarded the SCI Distinguished Service Award. For their contribution to the application of ion exchange Wolfgang and David were recognised at this conference by tributes from colleagues and the dedication of the sessions in their honour on respectively Water Treatment and Hydrometallurgy.

At the meeting SCI Ion Exchange Awards were presented to: Professor Nalan Kabay, Ege University, Turkey; Professor Yu Komatsu, Kanasawa Institute of Technology, Japan, and Dr Emmanuel Zaganiaris, Dow Water and Process Solutions, France for their extensive contributions to ion exchange.

Prof Kabay Prof. Mimura Prof Zaganiaris

In addition through the generosity of John Wiley and Sons and the SCI student prizes were awarded to: Ms Kanato Sibata, University of Kitakyushu, Japan and Dr Özgur Arar, Ege University, Turkey for their oral presentations and Ms Evelein van de Steene, University College, Ghent, Belgium and Mr Julio Bastos Arrieta, University Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain for their poster papers.

Following the precedent set at IEX2008 the conference was preceded by ion exchange technical training courses given by experts in the application of ion exchange in industry. The topics covered were: an introduction to industrial water treatment, a revised repeat of the 2008 course; an advanced course on ion exchange covering basic plant design for demineralisation, monitoring performance and troubleshooting plant problems, and a new third course on the theory and practice of ion exchange in bioprocessing. All these three courses were well attended and elicited favourable responses from the attendees.

Following a meeting of the International Committee for Ion Exchange at the conference and discussions of the Organising Committee it was decided to hold the next IEX conference in 2016 at Cambridge. Following the continued success of the ion exchange training courses the Organising Committee decided there was a strong case to repeat these before the next IEX so it is hoped to hold them again in the UK in 2014. Anyone interested in receiving further information of these or IEX2016 can register with the SCI Conference Office at

Prof Em Michael Cox
Chairman, Organising Committee

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