Tirrell Group: Harrison Paul

Graduate Student

Tirrell Group


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    5640 South Ellis Avenue
    Eckhardt Research Laboratory 108
    Chicago, IL 60637

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Harrison is currently researching the uses of modified cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) in water purification applications, specifically reverse osmosis. By incorporating the CNCs into membranes, water flux through the material can be increased. With some modifications, the CNCs should create selective pores in the membranes that enable separation of impurities from the water at high rates. Another possible advantage of the CNC composite membranes is anti-fouling properties via stimuli responsive additions to the CNCs. By modifying the surface chemistry of the CNCs, Harrison hopes to create new separation membranes for water purification.


Harrison grew up in Atlanta, GA and began his research career the Georgia Institute of Technology with the Nanophotonic Research Group. From there, he went on to Vanderbilt University, where he got his B.E. in Chemical Engineering in 2016. At Vanderbilt, he investigated the use of layer-by-layer thin films for drug delivery applications. He has since joined the IME and is now co-advised by Professors Stuart Rowan and Matt Tirrell.

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