Open AccessArticle
Applicability of a Supported Liquid Membrane in the Enrichment and Determination of Cadmium from Complex Aqueous Samples
Membranes 2018, 8(2), 21; doi:10.3390/membranes8020021 -
Abstract
A supported liquid membrane is developed for the separation of Cd from either high in salinity or acidity aqueous media. The membrane consisted of a durapore (polyvinylidene difluoride) polymeric support impregnated with a 0.5 M Aliquat 336 solution in decaline. The effect of
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A supported liquid membrane is developed for the separation of Cd from either high in salinity or acidity aqueous media. The membrane consisted of a durapore (polyvinylidene difluoride) polymeric support impregnated with a 0.5 M Aliquat 336 solution in decaline. The effect of carrier concentration, organic solvent and feed and receiving solutions on the metal permeability is studied. This system allows the effective transport of trace levels of Cd through the formation of CdCl42−, which is the predominant species responsible for the extraction process, in both NaCl and HCl solutions. The supported liquid membrane system in a hollow fibre configuration allows the enrichment and separation of trace levels of Cd from spiked seawater samples, facilitating the analytical determination of this toxic metal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effective Conversion of Amide to Carboxylic Acid on Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIM-1) with Nitrous Acid
Membranes 2018, 8(2), 20; doi:10.3390/membranes8020020 -
Abstract
Carboxylate-functionalised polymers of intrinsic microporosity (C-PIMs) are highly desirable materials for membrane separation applications. The recently reported method to afford C-PIMs was via an extensive base hydrolysis process requiring 360 h. Herein, a novel and effective method to convert PIM-CONH2 to C-PIM
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Carboxylate-functionalised polymers of intrinsic microporosity (C-PIMs) are highly desirable materials for membrane separation applications. The recently reported method to afford C-PIMs was via an extensive base hydrolysis process requiring 360 h. Herein, a novel and effective method to convert PIM-CONH2 to C-PIM using nitrous acid was studied. The chemical structure of C-PIM was characterised by 1H NMR, 13C NMR, FTIR, elemental analysis, UV-Vis, TGA and TGA-MS. Complete conversion from amide to carboxylic acid groups was confirmed. Decarboxylation of C-PIM was also successfully studied by TGA-MS for the first time, with a loss of m/z 44 amu (CO2) observed at the first degradation stage. TGA also revealed decreased thermal stability of C-PIM relative to PIM-CONH2 under both N2 and air atmosphere. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) analysis showed continuous molecular weight degradation of C-PIM with extended reaction time. Aromatic nitration was also observed as a side reaction in some cases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Liquid Membranes as a Tool for Chemical Speciation of Metals in Natural Waters: Organic and Inorganic Complexes of Nickel
Membranes 2018, 8(2), 19; doi:10.3390/membranes8020019 -
Abstract
The different species of nickel present in natural waters exhibit different transport behaviour through bulk liquid membranes (BLMs). This fact has been used to design and optimise a separation/pre-concentration system applicable to separate labile and non-labile nickel fractions. A hydrazone derivative—1,2-cyclohexanedione bis-benzoyl-hydrazone (1,2-CHBBH)
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The different species of nickel present in natural waters exhibit different transport behaviour through bulk liquid membranes (BLMs). This fact has been used to design and optimise a separation/pre-concentration system applicable to separate labile and non-labile nickel fractions. A hydrazone derivative—1,2-cyclohexanedione bis-benzoyl-hydrazone (1,2-CHBBH) dissolved in toluene/dimethyl formamide (2% DMF)—was used as a chemical carrier of nickel species, from an aqueous source solution (sample) to a receiving acidic solution. Both chemical and hydrodynamic conditions controlling the transport system were studied and optimised. Under optimum conditions, variations in the transport of nickel ions as a function of organic (humic acids) and inorganic (chloride ions) ligands were studied. Relationships between the permeability coefficient (P) or recovery efficiency (%R) and the concentrations of ligands and nickel species were analysed using Winhumic V software. A negative correlation between P and the concentration of organic nickel complexes was found, suggesting that only labile nickel species are transported through the liquid membrane, with non-labile complexes remaining in the water sample; allowing for their separation and subsequent quantification in natural waters. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Progress of Nanocomposite Membranes for Water Treatment
Membranes 2018, 8(2), 18; doi:10.3390/membranes8020018 -
Abstract
The use of membrane-based technologies has been applied for water treatment applications; however, the limitations of conventional polymeric membranes have led to the addition of inorganic fillers to enhance their performance. In recent years, nanocomposite membranes have greatly attracted the attention of scientists
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The use of membrane-based technologies has been applied for water treatment applications; however, the limitations of conventional polymeric membranes have led to the addition of inorganic fillers to enhance their performance. In recent years, nanocomposite membranes have greatly attracted the attention of scientists for water treatment applications such as wastewater treatment, water purification, removal of microorganisms, chemical compounds, heavy metals, etc. The incorporation of different nanofillers, such as carbon nanotubes, zinc oxide, graphene oxide, silver and copper nanoparticles, titanium dioxide, 2D materials, and some other novel nano-scale materials into polymeric membranes have provided great advances, e.g., enhancing on hydrophilicity, suppressing the accumulation of pollutants and foulants, enhancing rejection efficiencies and improving mechanical properties and thermal stabilities. Thereby, the aim of this work is to provide up-to-date information related to those novel nanocomposite membranes and their contribution for water treatment applications. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Comparison of NF-RO and RO-NF for the Treatment of Mature Landfill Leachates: A Guide for Landfill Operators
Membranes 2018, 8(2), 17; doi:10.3390/membranes8020017 -
Abstract
Reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) are among the state-of-the-art technologies for treating landfill leachates. Due to the complexity and variance in the composition of leachates, numerous combinations of multiple technologies are used for their treatment. One process chain for the treatment of
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Reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) are among the state-of-the-art technologies for treating landfill leachates. Due to the complexity and variance in the composition of leachates, numerous combinations of multiple technologies are used for their treatment. One process chain for the treatment of raw leachate is RO followed by further concentration of RO-retentate using NF (RO-NF scheme). The aptness of this process train used by some landfill sites around the world (usually with the aim of volume reduction so as to re-inject the concentrate into the landfill) is questionable. This study investigated two schemes RO-NF and NF-RO (nanofiltration of raw leachate followed by reverse osmosis of NF permeate) to identify their merits/demerits. Experiments were conducted in bench scale using commercial membranes: DOW Filmtec NF270 and SW30HR. Filtration trials were performed at different pressures to compare the water and solute transports in the individual stages of the two schemes. Based on the water fluxes and compositions of retentates and permeates; osmotic pressures, energy demands, and other possible operational advantages were discussed. NF-RO offers some advantages and flexibility for leachate treatment besides being energy efficient compared to RO-NF, wherein osmotic pressure steadily increases during operation in turn increasing operation and maintenance costs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gas Separation Properties of Polyimide Thin Films on Ceramic Supports for High Temperature Applications
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 16; doi:10.3390/membranes8010016 -
Abstract
Novel selective ceramic-supported thin polyimide films produced in a single dip coating step are proposed for membrane applications at elevated temperatures. Layers of the polyimides P84®, Matrimid 5218®, and 6FDA-6FpDA were successfully deposited onto porous alumina supports. In order
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Novel selective ceramic-supported thin polyimide films produced in a single dip coating step are proposed for membrane applications at elevated temperatures. Layers of the polyimides P84®, Matrimid 5218®, and 6FDA-6FpDA were successfully deposited onto porous alumina supports. In order to tackle the poor compatibility between ceramic support and polymer, and to get defect-free thin films, the effect of the viscosity of the polymer solution was studied, giving the entanglement concentration (C*) for each polymer. The C* values were 3.09 wt. % for the 6FDA-6FpDA, 3.52 wt. % for Matrimid®, and 4.30 wt. % for P84®. A minimum polymer solution concentration necessary for defect-free film formation was found for each polymer, with the inverse order to the intrinsic viscosities (P84® ≥ Matrimid® >> 6FDA-6FpDA). The effect of the temperature on the permeance of prepared membranes was studied for H2, CH4, N2, O2, and CO2. As expected, activation energy of permeance for hydrogen was higher than for CO2, resulting in H2/CO2 selectivity increase with temperature. More densely packed polymers lead to materials that are more selective at elevated temperatures. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Electrospun Fibrous Scaffolds for Small-Diameter Blood Vessels: A Review
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 15; doi:10.3390/membranes8010015 -
Abstract
Small-diameter blood vessels (SDBVs) are still a challenging task to prepare due to the occurrence of thrombosis formation, intimal hyperplasia, and aneurysmal dilation. Electrospinning technique, as a promising tissue engineering approach, can fabricate polymer fibrous scaffolds that satisfy requirements on the construction of
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Small-diameter blood vessels (SDBVs) are still a challenging task to prepare due to the occurrence of thrombosis formation, intimal hyperplasia, and aneurysmal dilation. Electrospinning technique, as a promising tissue engineering approach, can fabricate polymer fibrous scaffolds that satisfy requirements on the construction of extracellular matrix (ECM) of native blood vessel and promote the adhesion, proliferation, and growth of cells. In this review, we summarize the polymers that are deployed for the fabrication of SDBVs and classify them into three categories, synthetic polymers, natural polymers, and hybrid polymers. Furthermore, the biomechanical properties and the biological activities of the electrospun SBVs including anti-thrombogenic ability and cell response are discussed. Polymer blends seem to be a strategic way to fabricate SDBVs because it combines both suitable biomechanical properties coming from synthetic polymers and favorable sites to cell attachment coming from natural polymers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Characterization of TiO2/g-C3N4/PVDF Composite Membrane with Enhanced Physical Properties
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 14; doi:10.3390/membranes8010014 -
Abstract
TiO2/g-C3N4/PVDF composite membranes were prepared by a phase inversion method. A comparison of the performance and morphology was carried out among pure PVDF, g-C3N4/PVDF, TiO2/PVDF and TiO2/g-C3N
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TiO2/g-C3N4/PVDF composite membranes were prepared by a phase inversion method. A comparison of the performance and morphology was carried out among pure PVDF, g-C3N4/PVDF, TiO2/PVDF and TiO2/g-C3N4/PVDF composite membranes. The results of permeability and instrumental analysis indicated that TiO2 and g-C3N4 organic-inorganic composites obviously changed the performance and structure of the PVDF membranes. The porosity and water content of 0.75TiO2/0.25g-C3N4/PVDF composite membranes were 97.3 and 188.3 L/(m2·h), respectively. The porosity and water content of the 0.75TiO2/0.25g-C3N4 membranes were increased by 20.8% and 27.4%, respectively, compared with that of pure PVDF membranes. This suggested that the combination of organic-inorganic composite with PVDF could remarkably improve UTS, membrane porosity and water content. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Blend PVDF Membranes, and the Effect of Polymer Concentration and Blend Composition
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 13; doi:10.3390/membranes8010013 -
Abstract
In this work, PVDF homopolymer was blended with PVDF-co-HFP copolymer and studied in terms of morphology, porosity, pore size, hydrophobicity, permeability, and mechanical properties. Different solvents, namely N-Methyl-2 pyrrolidone (NMP), Tetrahydrofuran (THF), and Dimethylformamide (DMF) solvents, were used to fabricate blended PVDF flat
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In this work, PVDF homopolymer was blended with PVDF-co-HFP copolymer and studied in terms of morphology, porosity, pore size, hydrophobicity, permeability, and mechanical properties. Different solvents, namely N-Methyl-2 pyrrolidone (NMP), Tetrahydrofuran (THF), and Dimethylformamide (DMF) solvents, were used to fabricate blended PVDF flat sheet membranes without the introduction of any pore forming agent, through a non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) technique. Furthermore, the performance of the fabricated membranes was investigated for pressure and thermal driven applications. The porosity of the membranes was slightly increased with the increase in the overall content of PVDF and by the inclusion of PVDF copolymer. Total PVDF content, copolymer content, and mixed-solvent have a positive effect on mechanical properties. The addition of copolymer increased the hydrophobicity when the total PVDF content was 20%. At 25% and with the inclusion of mixed-solvent, the hydrophobicity was adversely affected. The permeability of the membranes increased with the increase in the overall content of PVDF. Mixed-solvents significantly improved permeability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrolytic Degradation and Mechanical Stability of Poly(ε-Caprolactone)/Reduced Graphene Oxide Membranes as Scaffolds for In Vitro Neural Tissue Regeneration
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/membranes8010012 -
Abstract
The present work studies the functional behavior of novel poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) membranes functionalized with reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanoplatelets under simulated in vitro culture conditions (phosphate buffer solution (PBS) at 37 °C) during 1 year, in order to elucidate their applicability as scaffolds
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The present work studies the functional behavior of novel poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) membranes functionalized with reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanoplatelets under simulated in vitro culture conditions (phosphate buffer solution (PBS) at 37 °C) during 1 year, in order to elucidate their applicability as scaffolds for in vitro neural regeneration. The morphological, chemical, and DSC results demonstrated that high internal porosity of the membranes facilitated water permeation and procured an accelerated hydrolytic degradation throughout the bulk pathway. Therefore, similar molecular weight reduction, from 80 kDa to 33 kDa for the control PCL, and to 27 kDa for PCL/rGO membranes, at the end of the study, was observed. After 1 year of hydrolytic degradation, though monomers coming from the hydrolytic cleavage of PCL diffused towards the PBS medium, the pH was barely affected, and the rGO nanoplatelets mainly remained in the membranes which envisaged low cytotoxic effect. On the other hand, the presence of rGO nanomaterials accelerated the loss of mechanical stability of the membranes. However, it is envisioned that the gradual degradation of the PCL/rGO membranes could facilitate cells infiltration, interconnectivity, and tissue formation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of PolyHIPE Membrane with Tricaprylmethylammonium Chloride for Cr(VI) Ion Separation: Parameters and Mechanism of Transport Relating to the Pore Structure
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 11; doi:10.3390/membranes8010011 -
Abstract
The structural characteristics of membrane support directly affect the performance of carrier facilitated transport membrane. A highly porous PolyHIPE impregnated with Aliquat 336 is proposed for Cr(VI) separation. PolyHIPE consisting of poly(styrene-co-2-ethylhexyl acrylate) copolymer crosslinked with divinylbenzene has the pore structure
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The structural characteristics of membrane support directly affect the performance of carrier facilitated transport membrane. A highly porous PolyHIPE impregnated with Aliquat 336 is proposed for Cr(VI) separation. PolyHIPE consisting of poly(styrene-co-2-ethylhexyl acrylate) copolymer crosslinked with divinylbenzene has the pore structure characteristic of large pore spaces interconnected with small window throats. The unique pore structure provides the membrane with high flux and stability. The experimental results indicate that the effective diffusion coefficient D* of Cr(VI) through Aliquat 336/PolyHIPE membrane is as high as 1.75 × 10−11 m2 s−1. Transport study shows that the diffusion of Cr(VI) through Aliquat 336/PolyHIPE membrane can be attributed to the jumping transport mechanism. The hydraulic stability experiment shows that the membrane is quite stable, with recovery rates remaining at 95%, even after 10 consecutive cycles of operation. The separation study demonstrates the potential application of this new type of membrane for Cr(VI) recovery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Membranes: A Variety of Energy Landscapes for Many Transfer Opportunities
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 10; doi:10.3390/membranes8010010 -
Abstract
A membrane can be represented by an energy landscape that solutes or colloids must cross. A model accounting for the momentum and the mass balances in the membrane energy landscape establishes a new way of writing for the Darcy law. The counter-pressure in
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A membrane can be represented by an energy landscape that solutes or colloids must cross. A model accounting for the momentum and the mass balances in the membrane energy landscape establishes a new way of writing for the Darcy law. The counter-pressure in the Darcy law is no longer written as the result of an osmotic pressure difference but rather as a function of colloid-membrane interactions. The ability of the model to describe the physics of the filtration is discussed in detail. This model is solved in a simplified energy landscape to derive analytical relationships that describe the selectivity and the counter-pressure from ab initio operating conditions. The model shows that the stiffness of the energy landscape has an impact on the process efficiency: a gradual increase in interactions (such as with hourglass pore shape) can reduce the separation energetic cost. It allows the introduction of a new paradigm to increase membrane efficiency: the accumulation that is inherent to the separation must be distributed across the membrane. Asymmetric interactions thus lead to direction-dependent transfer properties and the membrane exhibits diode behavior. These new transfer opportunities are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance and Fouling Study of Asymmetric PVDF Membrane Applied in the Concentration of Organic Fertilizer by Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD)
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 9; doi:10.3390/membranes8010009 -
Abstract
This study proposes using membrane distillation (MD) as an alternative to the conventional multi-stage flushing (MSF) process to concentrate a semi-product of organic fertilizer. By applying a unique asymmetric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane, which was specifically designed for MD applications using a nonsolvent
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This study proposes using membrane distillation (MD) as an alternative to the conventional multi-stage flushing (MSF) process to concentrate a semi-product of organic fertilizer. By applying a unique asymmetric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane, which was specifically designed for MD applications using a nonsolvent thermally induced phase separation (NTIPS) method, the direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) performance was investigated in terms of its sustainability in permeation flux, fouling resistance, and anti-wetting properties. It was found that the permeation flux increased with increasing flow rate, while the top-surface facing feed mode was the preferred orientation to achieve 25% higher flux than the bottom-surface facing feed mode. Compared to the commercial polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane, the asymmetric PVDF membrane exhibited excellent anti-fouling and sustainable flux, with less than 8% flux decline in a 15 h continuous operation, i.e., flux decreased slightly and was maintained as high as 74 kg·m−2·h−1 at 70 °C. Meanwhile, the lost flux was easily recovered by clean water rinsing. Overall 2.6 times concentration factor was achieved in 15 h MD operation, with 63.4% water being removed from the fertilizer sample. Further concentration could be achieved to reach the desired industrial standard of 5x concentration factor. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gas Transport in Glassy Polymers: Prediction of Diffusional Time Lag
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 8; doi:10.3390/membranes8010008 -
Abstract
The transport of gases in glassy polymeric membranes has been analyzed by means of a fundamental approach based on the nonequilibrium thermodynamic model for glassy polymers (NET-GP) that considers the penetrant chemical potential gradient as the actual driving force of the diffusional process.
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The transport of gases in glassy polymeric membranes has been analyzed by means of a fundamental approach based on the nonequilibrium thermodynamic model for glassy polymers (NET-GP) that considers the penetrant chemical potential gradient as the actual driving force of the diffusional process. The diffusivity of a penetrant is thus described as the product of a purely kinetic quantity, the penetrant mobility, and a thermodynamic factor, accounting for the chemical potential dependence on its concentration in the polymer. The NET-GP approach, and the nonequilibrium lattice fluid (NELF) model in particular, describes the thermodynamic behavior of penetrant/polymer mixtures in the glassy state, at each pressure or composition. Moreover, the mobility is considered to follow a simple exponential dependence on penetrant concentration, as typically observed experimentally, using only two adjustable parameters, the infinite dilution penetrant mobility L10 and the plasticization factor β, both determined from the analysis of the dependence of steady state permeability on upstream pressure. The available literature data of diffusional time lag as a function of penetrant upstream pressure has been reviewed and compared with model predictions, obtained after the values of the two model parameters (L10 and β), have been conveniently determined from steady state permeability data. The model is shown to be able to describe very accurately the experimental time lag behaviors for all penetrant/polymer pairs inspected, including those presenting an increasing permeability with increasing upstream pressure. The model is thus more appropriate than the one based on Dual Mode Sorption, which usually provides an unsatisfactory description of time lag and required an ad hoc modification. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the Interaction between Aquatic Humic Substances and Algal Organic Matter on the Fouling of a Ceramic Microfiltration Membrane
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/membranes8010007 -
Abstract
The influence of the interaction between aquatic humic substances and the algal organic matter (AOM) derived from Microcystis aeruginosa on the fouling of a ceramic microfiltration (MF) membrane was studied. AOM alone resulted in a significantly greater flux decline compared with Suwannee River
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The influence of the interaction between aquatic humic substances and the algal organic matter (AOM) derived from Microcystis aeruginosa on the fouling of a ceramic microfiltration (MF) membrane was studied. AOM alone resulted in a significantly greater flux decline compared with Suwannee River humic acid (HA), and fulvic acid (FA). The mixture of AOM with HA and FA exhibited a similar flux pattern as the AOM alone in the single-cycle filtration tests, indicating the flux decline may be predominantly controlled by the AOM in the early filtration cycles. The mixtures resulted in a marked increase in irreversible fouling resistance compared with all individual feed solutions. An increase in zeta potential was observed for the mixtures (becoming more negatively charged), which was in accordance with the increased reversible fouling resistance resulting from enhanced electrostatic repulsion between the organic compounds and the negatively-charged ceramic membrane. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and size exclusion chromatography analyses showed an apparent increase in molecular size for the AOM-humics mixtures, and some UV-absorbing molecules in the humics appeared to participate in the formation of larger aggregates with the AOM, which led to greater extent of pore plugging and hence resulted in higher irreversible fouling resistance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Surface Confined Gold Nanoparticles in Blocking the Extraction of Nitrate by PVC-Based Polymer Inclusion Membranes Containing Aliquat 336 as the Carrier
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/membranes8010006 -
Abstract
Clusters of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) formed on the surface of PVC-based polymer inclusion membranes (PIMs) with a liquid phase containing Aliquat 336 as the carrier and in some cases 1-dodecanol or 2-nitrophenol octyl ether as plasticizers were found to inhibit the extraction of
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Clusters of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) formed on the surface of PVC-based polymer inclusion membranes (PIMs) with a liquid phase containing Aliquat 336 as the carrier and in some cases 1-dodecanol or 2-nitrophenol octyl ether as plasticizers were found to inhibit the extraction of nitrate by the PIMs. This observation was based on gradually increasing the mass of AuNPs on the membrane surface and testing the ability of the membrane to extract nitrate after each increase. In this way, it was possible to determine the so-called “critical AuNP masses” at which the studied membranes ceased to extract nitrate. On the basis of these results, it can be hypothesized that the surfaces of these PIMs are not homogeneous with respect to the distribution of their membrane liquid phases, which are present only at certain sites. Extraction takes place only at these sites, and at the “critical AuNP mass” of a PIM, all these extraction sites are blocked and the membrane loses its ability to extract. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Review of Supported Pd-Based Membranes Preparation by Electroless Plating for Ultra-Pure Hydrogen Production
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 5; doi:10.3390/membranes8010005 -
Abstract
In the last years, hydrogen has been considered as a promising energy vector for the oncoming modification of the current energy sector, mainly based on fossil fuels. Hydrogen can be produced from water with no significant pollutant emissions but in the nearest future
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In the last years, hydrogen has been considered as a promising energy vector for the oncoming modification of the current energy sector, mainly based on fossil fuels. Hydrogen can be produced from water with no significant pollutant emissions but in the nearest future its production from different hydrocarbon raw materials by thermochemical processes seems to be more feasible. In any case, a mixture of gaseous compounds containing hydrogen is produced, so a further purification step is needed to purify the hydrogen up to required levels accordingly to the final application, i.e., PEM fuel cells. In this mean, membrane technology is one of the available separation options, providing an efficient solution at reasonable cost. Particularly, dense palladium-based membranes have been proposed as an ideal chance in hydrogen purification due to the nearly complete hydrogen selectivity (ideally 100%), high thermal stability and mechanical resistance. Moreover, these membranes can be used in a membrane reactor, offering the possibility to combine both the chemical reaction for hydrogen production and the purification step in a unique device. There are many papers in the literature regarding the preparation of Pd-based membranes, trying to improve the properties of these materials in terms of permeability, thermal and mechanical resistance, poisoning and cost-efficiency. In this review, the most relevant advances in the preparation of supported Pd-based membranes for hydrogen production in recent years are presented. The work is mainly focused in the incorporation of the hydrogen selective layer (palladium or palladium-based alloy) by the electroless plating, since it is one of the most promising alternatives for a real industrial application of these membranes. The information is organized in different sections including: (i) a general introduction; (ii) raw commercial and modified membrane supports; (iii) metal deposition insights by electroless-plating; (iv) trends in preparation of Pd-based alloys, and, finally; (v) some essential concluding remarks in addition to futures perspectives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Scale-up Tool for Pervaporation Processes
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/membranes8010004 -
Abstract
In this study, an engineering tool for the design and optimization of pervaporation processes is developed based on physico-chemical modelling coupled with laboratory/mini-plant experiments. The model incorporates the solution-diffusion-mechanism, polarization effects (concentration and temperature), axial dispersion, pressure drop and the temperature drop in
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In this study, an engineering tool for the design and optimization of pervaporation processes is developed based on physico-chemical modelling coupled with laboratory/mini-plant experiments. The model incorporates the solution-diffusion-mechanism, polarization effects (concentration and temperature), axial dispersion, pressure drop and the temperature drop in the feed channel due to vaporization of the permeating components. The permeance, being the key model parameter, was determined via dehydration experiments on a mini-plant scale for the binary mixtures ethanol/water and ethyl acetate/water. A second set of experimental data was utilized for the validation of the model for two chemical systems. The industrially relevant ternary mixture, ethanol/ethyl acetate/water, was investigated close to its azeotropic point and compared to a simulation conducted with the determined binary permeance data. Experimental and simulation data proved to agree very well for the investigated process conditions. In order to test the scalability of the developed engineering tool, large-scale data from an industrial pervaporation plant used for the dehydration of ethanol was compared to a process simulation conducted with the validated physico-chemical model. Since the membranes employed in both mini-plant and industrial scale were of the same type, the permeance data could be transferred. The comparison of the measured and simulated data proved the scalability of the derived model. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Membranes in 2017
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 3; doi:10.3390/membranes8010003 -
Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Membranes maintains high quality standards for its published papers [...]
Full article
Open AccessArticle
Novel Blend for Producing Porous Chitosan-Based Films Suitable for Biomedical Applications
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 2; doi:10.3390/membranes8010002 -
Abstract
In this work, a chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend was used in different ratios for preparing novel films that can be used in biomedical applications. Both acetic and formic acid were tested as solvents for the chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend. Glycerol was tested as a plasticizer.
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In this work, a chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend was used in different ratios for preparing novel films that can be used in biomedical applications. Both acetic and formic acid were tested as solvents for the chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend. Glycerol was tested as a plasticizer. The thickness, mechanical strength, static water contact angle and water uptake of the prepared films were determined. Also, the prepared films were characterized using different analysis techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Acetic acid produced continuous compact surfaces that are not recommended for testing in biomedical applications. The plasticized chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend, using formic acid solvent, produced novel hexagonal porous films with a pore size of around 10–14 µm. This blend is recommended for preparing films (scaffolds) for testing in biomedical applications as it has the advantage of a decreased thickness. Full article
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