Arup K. SenGupta, P.C. Rossin Professor in the departments of civil and environmental engineering and chemical engineering at Lehigh University, has written a book, “Ion Exchange in Environmental Processes: Fundamentals, Applications and Sustainable Technology,” published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in September 2017.

The book – 475 pages in eight chapters - aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to ion exchange for beginners as well as an in-depth coverage of the latest advances for those already in the profession.

“Ion exchange is a fascinating scientific field,” SenGupta writes in the preface, “and as central to natural and biological systems as it is to engineered processes.”

“Historically, application of ion exchange always stayed far ahead of theory and the design approaches for ion exchange systems were mostly empirical,” explains SenGupta. “The intrinsic complexity of the field was poorly understood and the science of ion exchange was accepted as mere exchange of ions.”

After WWII, however, ion exchange theory gradually took root. New applications were conceived and implemented as the seemingly eccentric behaviors of ion exchange were unraveled.

“I am quite optimistic,” continues SenGupta, “that the science, technology and materials related to ion exchange, as presented here, will help fill some void and create new synergy for the next generation of innovators and inventors in the field.”

SenGupta’s altruistic approach to his profession extends far beyond the research lab. His award-winning research has expanded the field of ion exchange science and technology in solving critical environmental problems, leading to the development of new classes of hybrid ion exchangers that have been incorporated into water and wastewater treatment processes globally.

SenGupta heads an international, interdisciplinary effort to develop and promote a sustainable treatment system that provides arsenic- and fluoride-safe drinking water to thousands of people all over the world. He also developed and helped commercialize the first polymer-based absorbent for arsenic in the United States, a product that provides arsenic-safe water to over one million people in both developing and developed countries.

SenGupta co-founded three societal enterprises to address global water-related issues through sustainable innovations: Tagore-SenGupta Foundation, Technology with a Human Face, and DrinkWell.

“I sincerely wish that this book outlives me not just by years, but by multiple decades,” said SanGupta.

SenGupta received a bachelor’s in chemical engineering in 1972 from Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India and a doctorate in environmental engineering in 1984 from the University of Houston. His research in environmental processes and sustainable materials has received recognitions from national and international organizations, including the Lawrence K. Cecil Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 2009, the Grainger Challenge Award from the National Academy of Engineering in 2007 and the Intel Environmental Award for Technology Benefiting Humanity in 2012, among others. SenGupta currently holds ten U.S. patents and was the recipient of Lehigh University’s Libsch Research Award in 1995 and the Hillman Faculty Award in 2013. SenGupta has been invited to present a seminar at Columbia University about his research in global applications of hybrid ion exchange nanotechnology on October 12, 2017.

- Mary Anne Lynch '16G

Ion Exchange in Environmental Processes: Fundamentals, Applications and Sustainable Technology

Book cover of "Ion Exchange in Environmental Processes: Fundamentals, Applications and Sustainable Technology."