Membrane separation technologies have attracted great attentions in chemical engineering, food science, analytical science, and environmental science. Compared to traditional membrane separation techniques like reverse osmosis (RO), ultrafiltration (UF), electrodialysis (ED) and others, pervaporation (PV)-based membrane separation shows not only mutual advantages such as small floor area, simplicity, and flexibility, but also unique characteristics including low cost as well as high energy and separation efficiency. Recently, different polymer, ceramic and composite membranes have shown promising separation applications through the PV-based techniques. To show the importance of PV for membrane separation applications, we present recent advances in the fabrication, properties and performances of polymeric membranes for PV separation of various chemicals in petrochemical, desalination, medicine, food, environmental protection, and other industrial fields. To promote the easy understanding of readers, the preparation methods and the PV separation mechanisms of various polymer membranes are introduced and discussed in detail. This work will be helpful for developing novel functional polymer-based membranes and facile techniques to promote the applications of PV techniques in different fields.
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