Special Issue "Membrane and Membrane Reactors Operations in Chemical Engineering"

A special issue of ChemEngineering (ISSN 2305-7084).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Adolfo Iulianelli

Institute on Membrane Technology of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ITM), via P. Bucci Cubo 17/C c/o University of Calabria, Rende, CS 87036, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: membrane reactors; membrane technology in gas separation; hydrogen production and reforming reactions; CO2 capture and fuel cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The principles of the Process Intensification Strategy, applied to chemical engineering, can lead to the development and re-design of new processes that are more compact, efficient, and useful for better-exploiting renewable materials, as well as a lower energy consumption and reduced plant volume. Membrane technology contributes to the valorization of these principles and, in the last few years, the potentialities of membrane operations have been largely recognized.

With their intrinsic behaviors of efficiency and operational simplicity, high selectivity and permeability, compatibility between different membrane operations in integrated systems, low energetic requirement, good stability under operating conditions and environment compatibility, membrane operations represent an interesting and alternative approach in chemical engineering processes. Membrane gas separation, membrane distillation, membrane crystallizers, membrane contactors, membrane strippers and scrubbers, and, in particular, membrane reactors and membrane bioreactors in their various configurations and functionalities, are growing in parallel to the molecular separations realized with pressure driven membrane operations.

Within this context, this Special Issue aims at compiling relevant contributions showing the potentialities of membrane and membrane reactors operations in chemical engineering based on the application of the Process Intensification principles. Modeling and experimental manuscripts, as well as reviews dealing with the most significative processes in chemical engineering performed via membrane and membrane reactors operations, are particularly welcome.

Dr. Adolfo Iulianelli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. ChemEngineering is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • membrane gas separation
  • membrane reactors and bioreactors
  • membrane crystallization
  • membrane distillation and waste water treatment
  • membrane emulsifier
  • membrane operations in food applications

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Experimental investigation of the gas/liquid phase separation using a membrane based micro contactor

Authors: Kay Marcel Dyrda*, Vincent Wilke, Katja Haas-Santo, Roland Dittmeyer

Affiliation: Institute for Micro Process Engineering, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Abstract: The gas / liquid phase separation of CO2 from a water-methanol solution at the anode side of a µDirect-Methanol-Fuel-Cell (µDMFC) plays a key role for the overall performance of the fuel cell. Especially if the µDMFC is based on a “Lab-on-a-Chip” design with transient working behaviour as well as recycling and recovery system for unused fuel. With a membrane based micro contactor installed downstream the µDMFC, the CO2 gas can be very efficiently removed from the water-methanol solution. By a systematic study of the separation process regarding gas permeability with and without two-phase flow, the overall separation performance with a view to the µDMFC working behaviour can be improved and is presented in this article/paper.

In general, the gas/liquid phase separation is achieved by combination of a pressure gradient as a driving force for separation of the gas or liquid phase and capillary forces in the pores of a porous membrane acting as a transport barrier against gas or liquid phase, depending on the nature of the membrane (hydrophilic / hydrophobic). Additionally the separation efficiency (separation factor, pressure gradient, orientation and liquid loss) for different feed inlet temperatures and methanol concentration were investigated to get a better understanding of the separation process at transient working conditions of the µDMFC. In further experiments, the active membrane area during the separation process was detected with respect to various gas volume flows at constant liquid volume flow. It is shown that the gas permeability with two-phase flow is significantly lower than with single-phase flow. In addition the working principle of the µDMFC is affecting the separation process of the membrane based micro contactor as an open or closed breather. Significant for the separable gas amount is the high dependence on the trans-membrane pressure difference setting the driving force. Moreover, the feed inlet temperature and methanol concentration as well as geometry parameters are affecting the pressure gradient and the overall separation performance.

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