Open AccessReview
Breath-Figure Self-Assembly, a Versatile Method of Manufacturing Membranes and Porous Structures: Physical, Chemical and Technological Aspects
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 45; doi:10.3390/membranes7030045 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The review is devoted to the physical, chemical, and technological aspects of the breath-figure self-assembly process. The main stages of the process and impact of the polymer architecture and physical parameters of breath-figure self-assembly on the eventual pattern are covered. The review is
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The review is devoted to the physical, chemical, and technological aspects of the breath-figure self-assembly process. The main stages of the process and impact of the polymer architecture and physical parameters of breath-figure self-assembly on the eventual pattern are covered. The review is focused on the hierarchy of spatial and temporal scales inherent to breath-figure self-assembly. Multi-scale patterns arising from the process are addressed. The characteristic spatial lateral scales of patterns vary from nanometers to dozens of micrometers. The temporal scale of the process spans from microseconds to seconds. The qualitative analysis performed in the paper demonstrates that the process is mainly governed by interfacial phenomena, whereas the impact of inertia and gravity are negligible. Characterization and applications of polymer films manufactured with breath-figure self-assembly are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Polymeric and Lipid Membranes—From Spheres to Flat Membranes and vice versa
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 44; doi:10.3390/membranes7030044 -
Abstract
Membranes are important components in a number of systems, where separation and control of the flow of molecules is desirable. Controllable membranes represent an even more coveted and desirable entity and their development is considered to be the next step of development. Typically,
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Membranes are important components in a number of systems, where separation and control of the flow of molecules is desirable. Controllable membranes represent an even more coveted and desirable entity and their development is considered to be the next step of development. Typically, membranes are considered on flat surfaces, but spherical capsules possess a perfect “infinite” or fully suspended membranes. Similarities and transitions between spherical and flat membranes are discussed, while applications of membranes are also emphasized. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of ZnO Nanoparticle on the Gas Separation Performance of Polyurethane Mixed Matrix Membrane
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 43; doi:10.3390/membranes7030043 -
Abstract
Polyurethane (PU)-ZnO mixed matrix membranes (MMM) were fabricated and characterized for gas separation. A thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), a scanning electron microscope (SEM) test and an atomic-force microscopy (AFM) revealed that the physical properties and thermal stability of the membranes were improved through filler
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Polyurethane (PU)-ZnO mixed matrix membranes (MMM) were fabricated and characterized for gas separation. A thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), a scanning electron microscope (SEM) test and an atomic-force microscopy (AFM) revealed that the physical properties and thermal stability of the membranes were improved through filler loading. Hydrogen Bonding Index, obtained from the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), demonstrate that the degree of phase separation in PU-ZnO 0.5 wt % MMM was more than the neat PU, while in PU-ZnO 1.0 wt % MMM, the phase mixing had increased. Compared to the neat membrane, the CO2 permeability of the MMMs increased by 31% for PU-ZnO 0.5 wt % MMM and decreased by 34% for 1.0 wt % ZnO MMM. The CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 selectivities of PU-ZnO 0.5 wt % were 18.75 and 64.75, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of the Pore Entrance on Particle Motion in Slit Pores: Implications for Ultrathin Membranes
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 42; doi:10.3390/membranes7030042 -
Abstract
Membrane rejection models generally neglect the effect of the pore entrance on intrapore particle transport. However, entrance effects are expected to be particularly important with ultrathin membranes, where membrane thickness is typically comparable to pore size. In this work, a 2D model was
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Membrane rejection models generally neglect the effect of the pore entrance on intrapore particle transport. However, entrance effects are expected to be particularly important with ultrathin membranes, where membrane thickness is typically comparable to pore size. In this work, a 2D model was developed to simulate particle motion for spherical particles moving at small Re and infinite Pe from the reservoir outside the pore into a slit pore. Using a finite element method, particles were tracked as they accelerated across the pore entrance until they reached a steady velocity in the pore. The axial position in the pore where particle motion becomes steady is defined as the particle entrance length (PEL). PELs were found to be comparable to the fluid entrance length, larger than the pore size and larger than the thickness typical of many ultrathin membranes. Results also show that, in the absence of particle diffusion, hydrodynamic particle–membrane interactions at the pore mouth result in particle “funneling” in the pore, yielding cross-pore particle concentration profiles focused at the pore centerline. The implications of these phenomena on rejection from ultrathin membranes are examined. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of pH-sensitive Dextran Derivatives with Strong Adjuvant Function and Their Application to Antigen Delivery
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 41; doi:10.3390/membranes7030041 -
Abstract
To achieve efficient cancer immunotherapy, the induction of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-based cellular immunity is necessary. In order to induce cellular immunity, antigen carriers that can deliver antigen into cytosol of antigen presenting cells and can activate these cells are required. We previously developed
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To achieve efficient cancer immunotherapy, the induction of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-based cellular immunity is necessary. In order to induce cellular immunity, antigen carriers that can deliver antigen into cytosol of antigen presenting cells and can activate these cells are required. We previously developed 3-methyl glutarylated dextran (MGlu-Dex) for cytoplasmic delivery of antigen via membrane disruption ability at weakly acidic pH in endosome/lysosomes. MGlu-Dex-modified liposomes delivered model antigens into cytosol of dendritic cells and induced antigen-specific cellular immunity. However, their antitumor effects were not enough to complete the regression of the tumor. In this study, antigen delivery performance of dextran derivatives was improved by the introduction of more hydrophobic spacer groups next to carboxyl groups. 2-Carboxycyclohexane-1-carboxylated dextran (CHex-Dex) was newly synthesized as pH-responsive dextran derivative. CHex-Dex formed stronger hydrophobic domains at extremely weak acidic pH and destabilized lipid membrane more efficiently than MGlu-Dex. CHex-Dex-modified liposomes were taken up by dendritic cells 10 times higher than MGlu-Dex-modified liposomes and delivered model antigen into cytosol. Furthermore, CHex-Dex achieved 600 times higher IL-12 production from dendritic cells than MGlu-Dex. Therefore, CHex-Dex is promising as multifunctional polysaccharide having both cytoplasmic antigen delivery function and strong activation property of dendritic cells for induction of cellular immunity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Porous Stainless Steel Hollow-Fibers through Multi-Modal Particle Size Sintering towards Pore Engineering
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 40; doi:10.3390/membranes7030040 -
Abstract
The sintering of metal powders is an efficient and versatile technique to fabricate porous metal elements such as filters, diffusers, and membranes. Neck formation between particles is, however, critical to tune the porosity and optimize mass transfer in order to minimize the densification
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The sintering of metal powders is an efficient and versatile technique to fabricate porous metal elements such as filters, diffusers, and membranes. Neck formation between particles is, however, critical to tune the porosity and optimize mass transfer in order to minimize the densification process. In this work, macro-porous stainless steel (SS) hollow-fibers (HFs) were fabricated by the extrusion and sintering of a dope comprised, for the first time, of a bimodal mixture of SS powders. The SS particles of different sizes and shapes were mixed to increase the neck formation between the particles and control the densification process of the structure during sintering. The sintered HFs from particles of two different sizes were shown to be more mechanically stable at lower sintering temperature due to the increased neck area of the small particles sintered to the large ones. In addition, the sintered HFs made from particles of 10 and 44 μm showed a smaller average pore size (<1 μm) as compared to the micron-size pores of sintered HFs made from particles of 10 μm only and those of 10 and 20 μm. The novel HFs could be used in a range of applications, from filtration modules to electrochemical membrane reactors. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Electro-Conductive Membranes for Permeation Enhancement and Fouling Mitigation: A Short Review
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 39; doi:10.3390/membranes7030039 -
Abstract
The research on electro-conductive membranes has expanded in recent years. These membranes have strong prospective as key components in next generation water treatment plants because they are engineered in order to enhance their performance in terms of separation, flux, fouling potential, and permselectivity.
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The research on electro-conductive membranes has expanded in recent years. These membranes have strong prospective as key components in next generation water treatment plants because they are engineered in order to enhance their performance in terms of separation, flux, fouling potential, and permselectivity. The present review summarizes recent developments in the preparation of electro-conductive membranes and the mechanisms of their response to external electric voltages in order to obtain an improvement in permeation and mitigation in the fouling growth. In particular, this paper deals with the properties of electro-conductive polymers and the preparation of electro-conductive polymer membranes with a focus on responsive membranes based on polyaniline, polypyrrole and carbon nanotubes. Then, some examples of electro-conductive membranes for permeation enhancement and fouling mitigation by electrostatic repulsion, hydrogen peroxide generation and electrochemical oxidation will be presented. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Artificial Lipid Membranes: Past, Present, and Future
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 38; doi:10.3390/membranes7030038 -
Abstract
The multifaceted role of biological membranes prompted early the development of artificial lipid-based models with a primary view of reconstituting the natural functions in vitro so as to study and exploit chemoreception for sensor engineering. Over the years, a fair amount of knowledge
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The multifaceted role of biological membranes prompted early the development of artificial lipid-based models with a primary view of reconstituting the natural functions in vitro so as to study and exploit chemoreception for sensor engineering. Over the years, a fair amount of knowledge on the artificial lipid membranes, as both, suspended or supported lipid films and liposomes, has been disseminated and has helped to diversify and expand initial scopes. Artificial lipid membranes can be constructed by several methods, stabilized by various means, functionalized in a variety of ways, experimented upon intensively, and broadly utilized in sensor development, drug testing, drug discovery or as molecular tools and research probes for elucidating the mechanics and the mechanisms of biological membranes. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art, discusses the diversity of applications, and presents future perspectives. The newly-introduced field of artificial cells further broadens the applicability of artificial membranes in studying the evolution of life. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Toward the Fabrication of Advanced Nanofiltration Membranes by Controlling Morphologies and Mesochannel Orientations of Hexagonal Lyotropic Liquid Crystals
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 37; doi:10.3390/membranes7030037 -
Abstract
Water scarcity has been recognized as one of the major threats to human activity, and, therefore, water purification technologies are increasingly drawing attention worldwide. Nanofiltration (NF) membrane technology has been proven to be an efficient and cost-effective way in terms of the size
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Water scarcity has been recognized as one of the major threats to human activity, and, therefore, water purification technologies are increasingly drawing attention worldwide. Nanofiltration (NF) membrane technology has been proven to be an efficient and cost-effective way in terms of the size and continuity of the nanostructure. Using a template based on hexagonal lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) and partitioning monomer units within this structure for subsequent photo-polymerisation presents a unique path for the fabrication of NF membranes, potentially producing pores of uniform size, ranging from 1 to 5 nm, and large surface areas. The subsequent orientation of this pore network in a direction normal to a flat polymer film that provides ideal transport properties associated with continuous pores running through the membrane has been achieved by the orientation of hexagonal LLCs through various strategies. This review presents the current progresses on the strategies for structure retention from a hexagonal LLCs template and the up-to-date techniques used for the reorientation of mesochanels for continuity through the whole membrane. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
On Operating a Nanofiltration Membrane for Olive Mill Wastewater Purification at Sub- and Super-Boundary Conditions
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 36; doi:10.3390/membranes7030036 -
Abstract
In the last decades, membrane processes have gained a significant share of the market for wastewater purification. Although the product (i.e., purified water) is not of high added value, these processes are feasible both technically and from an economic point of view, provided
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In the last decades, membrane processes have gained a significant share of the market for wastewater purification. Although the product (i.e., purified water) is not of high added value, these processes are feasible both technically and from an economic point of view, provided the flux is relatively high and that membrane fouling is strongly inhibited. By controlling membrane fouling, the membrane may work for years without service, thus dramatically reducing operating costs and the need for membrane substitution. There is tension between operating at high permeate fluxes, which enhances fouling but reduces capital costs, and operating at lower fluxes which increases capital costs. Operating batch membrane processes leads to increased difficulties, since the feed fed to the membrane changes as a function of the recovery value. This paper is concerned with the operation of such a process. Membrane process designers should therefore avoid membrane fouling by operating membranes away from the permeate flux point where severe fouling is triggered. The design and operation of membrane purification plants is a difficult task, and the precision to properly describe the evolution of the fouling phenomenon as a function of the operating conditions is a key to success. Many reported works have reported on the control of fouling by operating below the boundary flux. On the other hand, only a few works have successfully sought to exploit super-boundary operating conditions; most super-boundary operations are reported to have led to process failures. In this work, both sub- and super-boundary operating conditions for a batch nanofiltration membrane process used for olive mill wastewater treatment were investigated. A model to identify a priori the point of transition from a sub-boundary to a super-boundary operation during a batch operation was developed, and this will provide membrane designers with a helpful tool to carefully avoid process failures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Antibacterial and Fouling Resistance of Silver and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Doped Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride-co-Hexafluoropropylene) Composite Membrane
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 35; doi:10.3390/membranes7030035 -
Abstract
Composite membranes were successfully prepared using a phase-inversion method. The X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) profiles has confirmed formation of 4.8 wt % Ag/poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropene) (PVDF-HFP), 3 wt % Ag-MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP (EDX surface composition of Ag nanoparticles) and 1.5 wt
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Composite membranes were successfully prepared using a phase-inversion method. The X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) profiles has confirmed formation of 4.8 wt % Ag/poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropene) (PVDF-HFP), 3 wt % Ag-MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP (EDX surface composition of Ag nanoparticles) and 1.5 wt % MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP composite membranes. The MWCNTs crystallites are mainly encapsulated by a layer of PVDF-HFP, as evidenced by disappearance of graphitic peak. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images have depicted the formation of microporous structure, with few MWCNTs on the surface and strongly interacting with PVDF-HFP as demonstrated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), XRD and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) data. The data indicated an increase in porosity, swellability and water content of the PVDF-HFP membrane with the addition of MWCNTs and/or Ag nanoparticles, showing an improved hydrophilicity. The 1.5 wt % MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP composite membrane showed good desalination and fouling resistance rates, which correlates with a low water contact angle. The combined effects of Ag nanoparticles and MWCNTs do not promote fouling resistance of PVDF-HFP membranes, as shown during NaCl microfiltration (this is linked with high water contact angle as compared to that of MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP composite). Both 1.5 wt % MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP and 3 wt % Ag-MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP composite membranes prevented the bacteria passing through the membrane (100% bacterial load reduction). The surface of 3 wt % Ag-MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP showed good bactericidal and non-leaching properties of the dopant materials (MWCNTs and Ag), as evidenced by bacterial growth on the edges of the membranes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Nanofiltration and Tight Ultrafiltration Membranes for Natural Organic Matter Removal—Contribution of Fouling and Concentration Polarization to Filtration Resistance
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 34; doi:10.3390/membranes7030034 -
Abstract
Nanofiltration (NF) and tight ultrafiltration (tight UF) membranes are a viable treatment option for high quality drinking water production from sources with high concentrations of contaminants. To date, there is limited knowledge regarding the contribution of concentration polarization (CP) and fouling to the
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Nanofiltration (NF) and tight ultrafiltration (tight UF) membranes are a viable treatment option for high quality drinking water production from sources with high concentrations of contaminants. To date, there is limited knowledge regarding the contribution of concentration polarization (CP) and fouling to the increase in resistance during filtration of natural organic matter (NOM) with NF and tight UF. Filtration tests were conducted with NF and tight UF membranes with molecular weight cut offs (MWCOs) of 300, 2000 and 8000 Da, and model raw waters containing different constituents of NOM. When filtering model raw waters containing high concentrations of polysaccharides (i.e., higher molecular weight NOM), the increase in resistance was dominated by fouling. When filtering model raw waters containing humic substances (i.e., lower molecular weight NOM), the increase in filtration resistance was dominated by CP. The results indicate that low MWCO membranes are better suited for NOM removal, because most of the NOM in surface waters consist mainly of humic substances, which were only effectively rejected by the lower MWCO membranes. However, when humic substances are effectively rejected, CP can become extensive, leading to a significant increase in filtration resistance by the formation of a cake/gel layer at the membrane surface. For this reason, cross-flow operation, which reduces CP, is recommended. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Stability of Phase-Separated Domains in Multicomponent Lipid Membranes with Local Anesthetics
Membranes 2017, 7(3), 33; doi:10.3390/membranes7030033 -
Abstract
The functional mechanisms of local anesthetics (LAs) have not yet been fully explained, despite their importance in modern medicine. Recently, an indirect interaction between channel proteins and LAs was proposed as follows: LAs alter the physical properties of lipid membranes, thus affecting the
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The functional mechanisms of local anesthetics (LAs) have not yet been fully explained, despite their importance in modern medicine. Recently, an indirect interaction between channel proteins and LAs was proposed as follows: LAs alter the physical properties of lipid membranes, thus affecting the channel proteins. To examine this hypothesis, we investigated changes in thermal stability in lipid membranes consisting of dioleoylphosphocholine, dipalmitoylphosphocholine, and cholesterol by adding the LAs, lidocaine and tetracaine. The miscibility temperature of liquid-ordered (Lo) and liquid-disordered (Ld) phase separation was lowered, whereas that of phase separation between solid-ordered (So) and Ld phases was unchanged by LAs. Furthermore, we measured the line tension at the Lo/Ld interface from domain boundary fluctuation and found that it was significantly decreased by LAs. Finally, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) revealed a change in the lipid main transition temperature on the addition of LAs. Based on the DSC measurements, we considered that LAs are partitioned into two coexisting phases. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Poly(vinylbenzylchloride) Based Anion-Exchange Blend Membranes (AEBMs): Influence of PEG Additive on Conductivity and Stability
Membranes 2017, 7(2), 32; doi:10.3390/membranes7020032 -
Abstract
In view of the many possible applications such as fuel cells and electrolysers, recent interest in novel anion exchange membranes (AEMs) has increased significantly. However, their low conductivity and chemical stability limits their current suitability. In this study, the synthesis and characterization of
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In view of the many possible applications such as fuel cells and electrolysers, recent interest in novel anion exchange membranes (AEMs) has increased significantly. However, their low conductivity and chemical stability limits their current suitability. In this study, the synthesis and characterization of several three- and four-component anion exchange blend membranes (AEBMs) is described, where the compositions have been systematically varied to study the influence of the AEBM’s composition on the anion conductivities as well as chemical and thermal stabilities under strongly alkaline conditions. It was shown that the epoxide-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol)s that were introduced into the four-component AEBMs resulted in increased conductivity as well as a marked improvement in the stability of the AEBMs in an alkaline environment. In addition, the thermal stability of the novel AEBMs was excellent showing the suitability of these membranes for several electrochemical applications. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Thin Film Nanocomposite Membrane Filled with Metal-Organic Frameworks UiO-66 and MIL-125 Nanoparticles for Water Desalination
Membranes 2017, 7(2), 31; doi:10.3390/membranes7020031 -
Abstract
Knowing that the world is facing a shortage of fresh water, desalination, in its different forms including reverse osmosis, represents a practical approach to produce potable water from a saline source. In this report, two kinds of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) nanoparticles (NPs), UiO-66
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Knowing that the world is facing a shortage of fresh water, desalination, in its different forms including reverse osmosis, represents a practical approach to produce potable water from a saline source. In this report, two kinds of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) nanoparticles (NPs), UiO-66 (~100 nm) and MIL-125 (~100 nm), were embedded separately into thin-film composite membranes in different weight ratios, 0%, 0.05%, 0.1%, 0.15%, 0.2%, and 0.3%. The membranes were synthesized by the interfacial polymerization (IP) of m-phenylenediamine (MPD) in aqueous solution and trimesoyl chloride (TMC) in an organic phase. The as-prepared membranes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), contact angle measurement, attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR FT-IR) spectroscopy, and salt rejection and water flux assessments. Results showed that both UiO-66 and MIL-125 could improve the membranes’ performance and the impacts depended on the NPs loading. At the optimum NPs loadings, 0.15% for UiO-66 and 0.3% for MIL-125, the water flux increased from 62.5 L/m2 h to 74.9 and 85.0 L/m2 h, respectively. NaCl rejection was not significantly affected (UiO-66) or slightly improved (MIL-125) by embedding these NPs, always at >98.5% as tested at 2000 ppm salt concentration and 300 psi transmembrane pressure. The results from this study demonstrate that it is promising to apply MOFs NPs to enhance the TFC membrane performance for desalination. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
A Short Review of Membrane Fouling in Forward Osmosis Processes
Membranes 2017, 7(2), 30; doi:10.3390/membranes7020030 -
Abstract
Interest in forward osmosis (FO) research has rapidly increased in the last decade due to problems of water and energy scarcity. FO processes have been used in many applications, including wastewater reclamation, desalination, energy production, fertigation, and food and pharmaceutical processing. However, the
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Interest in forward osmosis (FO) research has rapidly increased in the last decade due to problems of water and energy scarcity. FO processes have been used in many applications, including wastewater reclamation, desalination, energy production, fertigation, and food and pharmaceutical processing. However, the inherent disadvantages of FO, such as lower permeate water flux compared to pressure driven membrane processes, concentration polarisation (CP), reverse salt diffusion, the energy consumption of draw solution recovery and issues of membrane fouling have restricted its industrial applications. This paper focuses on the fouling phenomena of FO processes in different areas, including organic, inorganic and biological categories, for better understanding of this long-standing issue in membrane processes. Furthermore, membrane fouling monitoring and mitigation strategies are reviewed. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Influence of Membrane Equivalent Weight and Reinforcement on Ionic Species Crossover in All-Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries
Membranes 2017, 7(2), 29; doi:10.3390/membranes7020029 -
Abstract
One of the major sources of lost capacity in all-vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) is the undesired transport (usually called crossover) of water and vanadium ions through the ion-exchange membrane. In this work, an experimental assessment of the impact of ion-exchange membrane properties
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One of the major sources of lost capacity in all-vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) is the undesired transport (usually called crossover) of water and vanadium ions through the ion-exchange membrane. In this work, an experimental assessment of the impact of ion-exchange membrane properties on vanadium ion crossover and capacity decay of VRFBs has been performed. Two types of cationic membranes (non-reinforced and reinforced) with three equivalent weights of 800, 950 and 1100 g·mol−1 were investigated via a series of in situ performance and capacity decay tests along with ex situ vanadium crossover measurement and membrane characterization. For non-reinforced membranes, increasing the equivalent weight (EW) from 950 to 1100 g·mol−1 decreases the V(IV) permeability by ~30%, but increases the area-specific resistance (ASR) by ~16%. This increase in ASR and decrease in V(IV) permeability was accompanied by increased through-plane membrane swelling. Comparing the non-reinforced with reinforced membranes, membrane reinforcement increases ASR, but V(IV) permeability decreases. It was also shown that there exists a monotonic correlation between the discharge capacity decay over long-term cycling and V(IV) permeability values. Thus, V(IV) permeability is considered a representative diagnostic for assessing the overall performance of a particular ion-exchange membrane with respect to capacity fade in a VRFB. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Fabrication of Defect-Free Cellulose Acetate Hollow Fibers by Optimization of Spinning Parameters
Membranes 2017, 7(2), 27; doi:10.3390/membranes7020027 -
Abstract
Spinning of cellulose acetate (CA) with the additive polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) solvent under different conditions was investigated. The spinning parameters of air gap, bore fluid composition, flow rate of bore fluid, and quench bath temperature were optimized based on the
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Spinning of cellulose acetate (CA) with the additive polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) solvent under different conditions was investigated. The spinning parameters of air gap, bore fluid composition, flow rate of bore fluid, and quench bath temperature were optimized based on the orthogonal experiment design (OED) method and multivariate analysis. FTIR and scanning electron microscopy were used to characterize the membrane structure and morphology. Based on the conjoint analysis in Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) software, the importance of these parameters was identified as: air gap > bore fluid composition > flow rate of bore fluid > quench bath temperature. The optimal spinning condition with the bore fluid (water + NMP (85%)), air gap (25 mm), flow rate of bore fluid (40% of dope rate), and temperature of quench bath (50 °C) was identified to make high PVP content, symmetric cross-section and highly cross-linked CA hollow fibers. The results can be used to guide the spinning of defect-free CA hollow fiber membranes with desired structures and properties as carbon membrane precursors. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Membranes of Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIM-1) Modified by Poly(ethylene glycol)
Membranes 2017, 7(2), 28; doi:10.3390/membranes7020028 -
Abstract
Until now, the leading polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1 has become quite famous for its high membrane permeability for many gases in gas separation, linked, however, to a rather moderate selectivity. The combination with the hydrophilic and low permeable poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and
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Until now, the leading polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1 has become quite famous for its high membrane permeability for many gases in gas separation, linked, however, to a rather moderate selectivity. The combination with the hydrophilic and low permeable poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and poly(ethylene oxides) (PEO) should on the one hand reduce permeability, while on the other hand enhance selectivity, especially for the polar gas CO2 by improving the hydrophilicity of the membranes. Four different paths to combine PIM-1 with PEG or poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(propylene oxide) (PPO) were studied: physically blending, quenching of polycondensation, synthesis of multiblock copolymers and synthesis of copolymers with PEO/PPO side chain. Blends and new, chemically linked polymers were successfully formed into free standing dense membranes and measured in single gas permeation of N2, O2, CO2 and CH4 by time lag method. As expected, permeability was lowered by any substantial addition of PEG/PEO/PPO regardless the manufacturing process and proportionally to the added amount. About 6 to 7 wt % of PEG/PEO/PPO added to PIM-1 halved permeability compared to PIM-1 membrane prepared under similar conditions. Consequently, selectivity from single gas measurements increased up to values of about 30 for CO2/N2 gas pair, a maximum of 18 for CO2/CH4 and 3.5 for O2/N2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor for Continuous Lactic Acid Fermentation
Membranes 2017, 7(2), 26; doi:10.3390/membranes7020026 -
Abstract
Membrane bioreactor systems can enhance anaerobic lactic acid fermentation by reducing product inhibition, thus increasing productivity. In batch fermentations, the bioconversion of glucose is strongly inhibited in the presence of more than 100 g·L−1 lactic acid and is only possible when the
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Membrane bioreactor systems can enhance anaerobic lactic acid fermentation by reducing product inhibition, thus increasing productivity. In batch fermentations, the bioconversion of glucose is strongly inhibited in the presence of more than 100 g·L−1 lactic acid and is only possible when the product is simultaneously removed, which can be achieved by ceramic membrane filtration. The crossflow velocity is a more important determinant of flux than the transmembrane pressure. Therefore, to stabilize the performance of the membrane bioreactor system during continuous fermentation, the crossflow velocity was controlled by varying the biomass concentration, which was monitored in real-time using an optical sensor. Continuous fermentation under these conditions, thus, achieved a stable productivity of ~8 g·L−1·h−1 and the concentration of lactic acid was maintained at ~40 g·L−1 at a dilution rate of 0.2 h−1. No residual sugar was detected in the steady state with a feed concentration of 50 g·L−1. Full article
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