With the rapid growth of industrialization, diverse pollutants produced as by-products are emitted to the air-water ecosystem, and toxic contamination of water is one of the most hazardous environmental issues. Various forms of carbon have been used for adsorption, electrochemical, and ion-exchange membrane filtration to separation processes for water treatment. The utilization of carbon materials has gained tremendous attention as they have exceptional properties such as chemical, mechanical, thermal, antibacterial activities, along with reinforcement capability and high thermal stability, that helps to maintain the ecological balance. Recently, engineered nano-carbon incorporated with polymer as a composite membrane has been spotlighted as a new and effective mode for water treatment. In particular, the properties of zero-dimensional (0D) carbon forms (fullerenes and carbon dots) have encouraged researchers to explore them in the field of wastewater treatment through membrane technologies as they are biocompatible, which is the ultimate requirement to ensure the safety of drinking water. Thus, the purpose of this review is to highlight and summarize current advances in the field of water purification/treatment using 0D carbon-polymer-based nanocomposite membranes. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of 0D carbon forms embedded into a variety of polymer membranes and their influence on the improved performance of the resulting membranes. Current challenges and opportunities for future research are discussed.
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