Guojun Liu

Canada Research Chair in Materials Science

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2011-10-01, 2018-07-01
Queen's University
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


Research involves

Coatings for Antifouling Application and for Water Purification

Research relevance

This research leads to high-flux filters for water purification and coatings that resist deposition of marine organisms.

Innovation for a greener, cleaner marine industry

The growth of marine organisms, such as fungi and mussels, on the hull of a ship increase its fuel consumption by as much as 40%. Crude oil spilled from an accident on a lake or an ocean can have a severely detrimental impact on the surrounding environment. These two seemingly unrelated issues have a common solution offered by Guojun Liu, Canada Research Chair in Materials Science.

Liu tailor-makes polymer coatings for various uses. For example, to reduce the incidence of marine organisms attaching to and growing on vessels, he is developing a very slippery, non-toxic polymer coating that readily shreds off deposited materials from a ship’s surface as it moves. He is also experimenting with other unexplored mechanisms for the shredding of marine deposits.

Liu is also developing a coating that can be applied onto a metal mesh to facilitate the scooping up of spilled oil from water surfaces. This coated metal mesh can act as a filter. It covers the opening of large barrels which collect the spilled oil but reject the water. Such high-flux, large-pore filters should be able to free crude oil from water as well.

Liu designs and prepares his coatings with precise structural and functional control from molecular- to nanometer- and micrometer-sized scales. Some of his coating technologies are already being commercialized by Canadian industry. The new coating technologies that he develops will find diversified applications and help Canada maintain a competitive edge in this market.