Special Issue "Nanocomposite Membranes"

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A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Boguslaw Kruczek (Website)

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Phone: +1 613 562 5800
Fax: +1 613 562 5172
Interests: gas separation; nanocomposite membranes; zeolite membranes; membrane characterization systems; time lag methods; membrane transport; transport phenomena in membrane characterization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Driven by new developments and innovations in material science and process technologies, membranes have become an integral part of today’s separation processes. The global demand on membrane modules in 2012 reached 15.6 billion USD, and is expected to grow annually by 8% in the next years. Most of commercially utilized synthetic membranes are made of organic polymers. On the other hand, because of inherent trade-off between the productivity and selectivity of organic polymer membranes, the main focus of membrane research in the recent years has concentrated on development of new materials that can overcome this performance limitation. Nanocomposite membranes appear to be the most promising solution.

The term “nanocomposites” is generally associated (but not limited to) with inorganic (porous or nonporous) nanoparticles dispersed within a continuous phase of organic polymer. The nanofillers act to create preferential permeation pathways for selective transport while posing a barrier for undesired transport. The success of nanocomposite membranes depends on the interfacial quality between the nanoparticles and the organic polymer. This interfacial quality can be improved by chemical modifications of the host polymer matrix and/or the inorganic nanofillers. Both rubbery and glassy polymers have been utilized as the organic matrix in nanocomposites. Also, a wide variety of nanoparticles have been tested as inorganic nanofillers. The latter include, metal oxides (e.g., TiO2, Al2O3, SiO2, MgO, AgO, Fe3O4), pure metals (e.g., nanosilver), zeolites (e.g., ZSM-5, silicalate-1, zeolite 4A), nanosized macromer polyoctahedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS), carbon nanoparticles (e.g., carbon nanotubes, C60 flullerens), and mineral clays. These nanoscale fillers are typically prepared ex situ and then introduced to the casting mixture, but also in some cases it is possible to generate them in situ from precursors. Nanocomposite membranes have been considered in virtually all membrane processes including some novel membrane-based applications.

This Special Issue offers a perfect site to document state-of-the-art developments and innovations in nanocomposite membranes ranging from material development and characterization of properties to novel membrane applications and transport modeling. Authors are therefore invited to submit their latest results; both original papers and reviews are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Boguslaw Kruczek
Guest Editor

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Membranes 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) for publication in this open access journal is 500 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • polymer-based nanocomposites
  • nanocomposites in inorganic matrix
  • synthesis of nanocomposite membranes
  • transport in nanocomposite membranes
  • gas permeation
  • reverse osmosis
  • forward osmosis
  • pervaporation
  • membrane distillation
  • fuel cells

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Characterisation of ETS-10/Acetate-based Ionic Liquid/Chitosan Mixed Matrix Membranes for CO2/N2 Permeation
Membranes 2014, 4(2), 287-301; doi:10.3390/membranes4020287
Received: 2 April 2014 / Revised: 19 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 June 2014 / Published: 19 June 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) were prepared by incorporating organic surfactant-free hydrothermally synthesised ETS-10 and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ionic liquid (IL) to chitosan (CS) polymer matrix. The membrane material characteristics and permselectivity performance of the two-component membranes were compared with the three-component membrane and [...] Read more.
Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) were prepared by incorporating organic surfactant-free hydrothermally synthesised ETS-10 and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ionic liquid (IL) to chitosan (CS) polymer matrix. The membrane material characteristics and permselectivity performance of the two-component membranes were compared with the three-component membrane and the pure CS membrane. The addition of IL increased CO2 solubility of the polymer, and, thus, the CO2 affinity was maintained for the MMMs, which can be correlated with the crystallinity, measured by FT-IR, and void fraction calculations from differences between theoretical and experimental densities. The mechanical resistance was enhanced by the ETS-10 nanoparticles, and flexibility decreased in the two-component ETS-10/CS MMMs, but the flexibility imparted by the IL remained in three-component ETS-10/IL/CS MMMs. The results of this work provide insight into another way of facing the adhesion challenge in MMMs and obtain CO2 selective MMMs from renewable or green chemistry materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposite Membranes)
Open AccessArticle Carbon Nanotube- and Carbon Fiber-Reinforcement of Ethylene-Octene Copolymer Membranes for Gas and Vapor Separation
Membranes 2014, 4(1), 20-39; doi:10.3390/membranes4010020
Received: 6 November 2013 / Revised: 26 November 2013 / Accepted: 21 December 2013 / Published: 3 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1152 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gas and vapor transport properties were studied in mixed matrix membranes containing elastomeric ethylene-octene copolymer (EOC or poly(ethylene-co-octene)) with three types of carbon fillers: virgin or oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon fibers (CFs). Helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, methane, [...] Read more.
Gas and vapor transport properties were studied in mixed matrix membranes containing elastomeric ethylene-octene copolymer (EOC or poly(ethylene-co-octene)) with three types of carbon fillers: virgin or oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon fibers (CFs). Helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, methane, and carbon dioxide were used for gas permeation rate measurements. Vapor transport properties were studied for the aliphatic hydrocarbon (hexane), aromatic compound (toluene), alcohol (ethanol), as well as water for the representative samples. The mechanical properties and homogeneity of samples was checked by stress-strain tests. The addition of virgin CNTs and CFs improve mechanical properties. Gas permeability of EOC lies between that of the more permeable PDMS and the less permeable semi-crystalline polyethylene and polypropylene. Organic vapors are more permeable than permanent gases in the composite membranes, with toluene and hexane permeabilities being about two orders of magnitude higher than permanent gas permeability. The results of the carbon-filled membranes offer perspectives for application in gas/vapor separation with improved mechanical resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposite Membranes)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Study of Hydrophilic Electrospun Nanofiber Membranes for Filtration of Micro and Nanosize Suspended Particles
Membranes 2013, 3(4), 375-388; doi:10.3390/membranes3040375
Received: 24 July 2013 / Revised: 18 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 14 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polymeric nanofiber membranes of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) blended with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) were fabricated using an electrospinning process at different conditions and used for the filtration of three different liquid suspensions to determine the efficiency of the filter membranes. The three liquid suspensions [...] Read more.
Polymeric nanofiber membranes of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) blended with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) were fabricated using an electrospinning process at different conditions and used for the filtration of three different liquid suspensions to determine the efficiency of the filter membranes. The three liquid suspensions included lake water, abrasive particles from a water jet cutter, and suspended magnetite nanoparticles. The major goal of this research work was to create highly hydrophilic nanofiber membranes and utilize them to filter the suspended liquids at an optimal level of purification (i.e., drinkable level). In order to overcome the fouling/biofouling/blocking problems of the membrane, a coagulation process, which enhances the membrane’s efficiency for removing colloidal particles, was used as a pre-treatment process. Two chemical agents, Tanfloc (organic) and Alum (inorganic), were chosen for the flocculation/coagulation process. The removal efficiency of the suspended particles in the liquids was measured in terms of turbidity, pH, and total dissolved solids (TDS). It was observed that the coagulation/filtration experiments were more efficient at removing turbidity, compared to the direct filtration process performed without any coagulation and filter media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposite Membranes)

Review

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Open AccessReview Nanocomposites for Improved Physical Durability of Porous PVDF Membranes
Membranes 2014, 4(1), 55-78; doi:10.3390/membranes4010055
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 10 January 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current commercial polymer membranes have shown high performance and durability in water treatment, converting poor quality waters to higher quality suitable for drinking, agriculture and recycling. However, to extend the treatment into more challenging water sources containing abrasive particles, micro and ultrafiltration [...] Read more.
Current commercial polymer membranes have shown high performance and durability in water treatment, converting poor quality waters to higher quality suitable for drinking, agriculture and recycling. However, to extend the treatment into more challenging water sources containing abrasive particles, micro and ultrafiltration membranes with enhanced physical durability are highly desirable. This review summarises the current limits of the existing polymeric membranes to treat harsh water sources, followed by the development of nanocomposite poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes for improved physical durability. Various types of nanofillers including nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes (CNT) and nanoclays were evaluated for their effect on flux, fouling resistance, mechanical strength and abrasion resistance on PVDF membranes. The mechanisms of abrasive wear and how the more durable materials provide resistance was also explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposite Membranes)

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