Zhiping Lai, Ph.D.


Professor of ​Chemical Engineering

Research Interests

​A focus on synthesis, characterization, and applications of inorganic membranes with ordered porous structures, such as zeolites, mesoporous silica or carbon and metal-organic frameworks. In addition, the coupling of inorganic and polymeric materials to develop novel mixed matrix membranes. Another area of interest includes the synthesis of porous materials into nanostructures such as core-shell nanostructure and the study of their potential applications such as drug delivery and micro-membrane reactors.

Selected Publications

  • A highly stable microporous colalent imine networks adsorbent for natural gas upgrading and flue gas CO2 capture
    S.K. Das, X.B. Wang, M.M. Ostwal, Z.P. Lai
    Sep. Purif. Technol., 170, pp. 68-77, (2016)
  • Diffusion as a function of guest molecule length and functionalization in flexible metal-organic frameworks
    B. Zheng, L.L. Wang, L. Du, Y.C. Pan, Z.P. Lai, K.W. Huang, H.L. Du
    Mater. Horizons, 3, pp. 355-361, (2016)
  • Selective hydrogen generation from formic acid with well-defined complexes of ruthenium and phosphorus-nitrogen PN3...
    Y. Pan, C.L. Pan, Y. Zhang, H. Li, S. Min, X. Guo, B. Zheng, H. Chen, A. Anders, Z.P. Lai,...
    Chem. Asian J., 11, pp. 1357-1360, (2016)
  • Graphene-coated hollow fiber membrane as the cathode in anaerobic electrochemical membrane bioreactors – effect of ...
    C.M. Werner, K.P. Katuri, A.R. Hari, W. Chen, Z.P. Lai, B.E. Logan, G.L. Amy, P.E. Saikaly...
    Environ. Sci. Technol.,50, 4439-4447, (2016)
  • Highly stable porous covalent trizaine-piperazine linked nanoflower as a feasible adsorbent for flue gas CO2 captur...
    S. K. Das, X.B. Wang, M.M. Ostwal, Y.F. Zhao, Y. Han, Z.P. Lai
    Chem. Eng. Sci., 145, 21-30, (2016)
  • Attainability and minimum energy of single-stage membrane and membrane/distillation hybrid processes
    A. Alshehri, Z.P. Lai
    J. Membr. Sci., 472, 272-280, (2015)
  • Improved ZIF-8 membrane: effect of activation procedure and determination of diffusivitis of light hydrocarbons
    Y. Pan, W. Liu, Y. Zhao, C. Wang, Z.P. Lai
    Journal of Membrane Science, volume 493, pp. 88-96, (2015)
  • Rationally designed amino-borane complex in metal organic framework: a novel reusable hydrogen storage and size-sel...
    X.B. Wang, L.H. Xie, K.W. Huang, Z.P. Lai
    Chem. Commun., 5, 7610-7613, (2015)
  • High-performance polyamide thin-film-nanocomposite reverse osmosis membranes containing hydrophobic zeolitic imidaz...
    J.T. Duan, Y.C. Pan, F. Pacheco, E. Litwiller, Z.P. Lai, I. Pinnau
    J. Membr. Sci., 476, 303-310, (2015)


  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, United States, 2003
  • MSc, Tsinghua University, P.R. China, 1998
  • BE, Tsinghua University, P.R. China, 1995

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • Saudi Chemistry Society
  • American Chemistry Society

KAUST Affiliations

  • Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials (AMPM)
  • Division of Physical Science and Engineering (PSE)

Research Interests Keywords

​Inorganic membranes porous structures zeolites mesoporous silica carbon metal-organic frameworks polymeric materials