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Membranes, Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 24 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The aim of this work is to study the combined effect of colloids and soluble microbial products [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
In-Situ Combination of Bipolar Membrane Electrodialysis with Monovalent Selective Anion-Exchange Membrane for the Valorization of Mixed Salts into Relatively High-Purity Monoprotic and Diprotic Acids
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060135 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 282
Abstract
The crystalized mixed salts from the zero liquid discharge process are a hazardous threat to the environment. In this study, we developed a novel electrodialysis (SBMED) method by assembling the monovalent selective anion-exchange membrane (MSAEM) into the bipolar membrane electrodialysis (BMED) stack. By [...] Read more.
The crystalized mixed salts from the zero liquid discharge process are a hazardous threat to the environment. In this study, we developed a novel electrodialysis (SBMED) method by assembling the monovalent selective anion-exchange membrane (MSAEM) into the bipolar membrane electrodialysis (BMED) stack. By taking the advantages of water splitting in the bipolar membrane and high perm-selectivity of MSAEM for the Cl ions against the SO42− ions, this combination allows the concurrent separation of Cl/SO42− and conversion of mixed salts into relatively high-purity monoprotic and diprotic acids. The current density has a significant impact on the acid purity. Both the monoprotic and diprotic acid purities were higher than 80% at a low current density of 10 mA/cm2. The purities of the monoprotic acids decreased with an increase in the current density, indicating that the perm-selectivity of MSAEM decreases with increasing current density. An increase in the ratio of monovalent to divalent anions in the feed was beneficial to increase the purity of monoprotic acids. High-purity monoprotic acids in the range of 93.9–96.1% were obtained using this novel SBMED stack for treating simulated seawater. Therefore, it is feasible for SBMED to valorize the mixed salts into relatively high-purity monoprotic and diprotic acids in one step. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Poly(Acrylic) Acid-Modified Heterogenous Anion Exchange Membranes with Improved Monovalent Permselectivity for RED
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060134 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 217
Abstract
The performance of anion-exchange membranes (AEMs) in Reverse Electrodialysis is hampered by both presence of multivalent ions and fouling phenomena, thus leading to reduced net power density. Therefore, we propose a monolayer surface modification procedure to functionalize Ralex-AEMs with poly(acrylic) acid (PAA) in [...] Read more.
The performance of anion-exchange membranes (AEMs) in Reverse Electrodialysis is hampered by both presence of multivalent ions and fouling phenomena, thus leading to reduced net power density. Therefore, we propose a monolayer surface modification procedure to functionalize Ralex-AEMs with poly(acrylic) acid (PAA) in order to (i) render a monovalent permselectivity, and (ii) minimize organic fouling. Membrane surface modification was carried out by putting heterogeneous AEMs in contact with a PAA-based aqueous solution for 24 h. The resulting modified membranes were firstly characterized by contact angle, water uptake, ion exchange capacity, fixed charge density, and swelling degree measurements, whereas their electrochemical responses were evaluated through cyclic voltammetry. Besides, their membrane electro-resistance was also studied via electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analyses. Finally, membrane permselectivity and fouling behavior in the presence of humic acid were evaluated through mass transport experiments using model NaCl containing solutions. The use of modified PAA-AEMs resulted in a significantly enhanced monovalent permselectivity (sulfate rejection improved by >35%) and membrane hydrophilicity (contact angle decreased by >15%) in comparison with the behavior of unmodified Ralex-AEMs, without compromising the membrane electro-resistance after modification, thus demonstrating the technical feasibility of the proposed membrane modification procedure. This study may therefore provide a feasible way for achieving an improved Reverse Electrodialysis process efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromembrane Processes: Experiments and Modelling)
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Open AccessArticle
Microfiltration Membranes Modified with Silver Oxide by Plasma Treatment
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060133 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 231
Abstract
Microfiltration (MF) membranes have been widely used for the separation and concentration of various components in food processing, biotechnology and wastewater treatment. The deposition of components from the feed solution and accumulation of bacteria on the surface and in the membrane matrix greatly [...] Read more.
Microfiltration (MF) membranes have been widely used for the separation and concentration of various components in food processing, biotechnology and wastewater treatment. The deposition of components from the feed solution and accumulation of bacteria on the surface and in the membrane matrix greatly reduce the effectiveness of MF. This is due to a decrease in the separation efficiency of the membrane, which contributes to a significant increase in operating costs and the cost of exploitative parts. In recent years, significant interest has arisen in the field of membrane modifications to make their surfaces resistant to the deposition of components from the feed solution and the accumulation of bacteria. The aim of this work was to develop appropriate process parameters for the plasma surface deposition of silver oxide (AgO) on MF polyamide membranes, which enables the fabrication of filtration materials with high permeability and antibacterial properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Water Disinfection)
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Open AccessArticle
Metal Complex as a Novel Approach to Enhance the Amorphous Phase and Improve the EDLC Performance of Plasticized Proton Conducting Chitosan-Based Polymer Electrolyte
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060132 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 216
Abstract
This work indicates that glycerolized chitosan-NH4F polymer electrolytes incorporated with zinc metal complexes are crucial for EDLC application. The ionic conductivity of the plasticized system was improved drastically from 9.52 × 10−4 S/cm to 1.71 × 10−3 S/cm with [...] Read more.
This work indicates that glycerolized chitosan-NH4F polymer electrolytes incorporated with zinc metal complexes are crucial for EDLC application. The ionic conductivity of the plasticized system was improved drastically from 9.52 × 10−4 S/cm to 1.71 × 10−3 S/cm with the addition of a zinc metal complex. The XRD results demonstrated that the amorphous phase was enhanced for the system containing the zinc metal complex. The transference number of ions (tion) and electrons (te) were measured for two of the highest conducting electrolyte systems. It confirmed that the ions were the dominant charge carriers in both systems as tion values for CSNHG4 and CSNHG5 electrolytes were 0.976 and 0.966, respectively. From the examination of LSV, zinc improved the electrolyte electrochemical stability to 2.25 V. The achieved specific capacitance from the CV plot reveals the role of the metal complex on storage properties. The charge–discharge profile was obtained for the system incorporated with the metal complex. The obtained specific capacitance ranged from 69.7 to 77.6 F/g. The energy and power densities became stable from 7.8 to 8.5 Wh/kg and 1041.7 to 248.2 W/kg, respectively, as the EDLC finalized the cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Membrane)
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Open AccessReview
Membrane-Based Processes Used in Municipal Wastewater Treatment for Water Reuse: State-Of-The-Art and Performance Analysis
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060131 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 261
Abstract
Wastewater reuse as a sustainable, reliable and energy recovery concept is a promising approach to alleviate worldwide water scarcity. However, the water reuse market needs to be developed with long-term efforts because only less than 4% of the total wastewater worldwide has been [...] Read more.
Wastewater reuse as a sustainable, reliable and energy recovery concept is a promising approach to alleviate worldwide water scarcity. However, the water reuse market needs to be developed with long-term efforts because only less than 4% of the total wastewater worldwide has been treated for water reuse at present. In addition, the reclaimed water should fulfill the criteria of health safety, appearance, environmental acceptance and economic feasibility based on their local water reuse guidelines. Moreover, municipal wastewater as an alternative water resource for non-potable or potable reuse, has been widely treated by various membrane-based treatment processes for reuse applications. By collecting lab-scale and pilot-scale reuse cases as much as possible, this review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the membrane-based treatment processes, mainly focused on the hydraulic filtration performance, contaminants removal capacity, reuse purpose, fouling resistance potential, resource recovery and energy consumption. The advances and limitations of different membrane-based processes alone or coupled with other possible processes such as disinfection processes and advanced oxidation processes, are also highlighted. Challenges still facing membrane-based technologies for water reuse applications, including institutional barriers, financial allocation and public perception, are stated as areas in need of further research and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Water Disinfection)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Vitamin K3 Inhibiting the Function of NorA Efflux Pump and Its Gene Expression on Staphylococcus aureus
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060130 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 252
Abstract
Resistance to antibiotics has made diseases that previously healed easily become more difficult to treat. Staphylococcus aureus is an important cause of hospital-acquired infections and multi-drug resistant. NorA efflux pump, present in bacteria S. aureus, is synthesized by the expression of the [...] Read more.
Resistance to antibiotics has made diseases that previously healed easily become more difficult to treat. Staphylococcus aureus is an important cause of hospital-acquired infections and multi-drug resistant. NorA efflux pump, present in bacteria S. aureus, is synthesized by the expression of the norA gene. Menadione, also known as vitamin K3, is one of the synthetic forms of vitamin K. Therefore, the aim of this study is to verify the menadione effect on efflux inhibition through NorA pump gene expression inhibition and assess the effects of menadione in bacterial membrane. The effect of menadione as an efflux pump inhibitor (EPI) was evaluated by the microdilution method, fluorimetry, electron microscopy, and by RT-qPCR to evaluate gene expression. In the molecular docking, association with menadione induces increased fluorescence intensity. Menadione was observed (100% of the clusters) interacting with residues ILE12, ILE15, PHE16, ILE19, PHE47, GLN51, ALA105, and MET109 from NorA. The results showed the norA gene had its expression significantly diminished in the presence of menadione. The simulation showed that several menadione molecules were able to go through the bilayer and allow the entry of water molecules into the hydrophobic regions of the bilayer. When present within membranes, menadione may have caused membrane structural changes resulting in a decline of the signaling pathways involved in norA expression. Menadione demonstrated to be an efflux pump inhibitor with dual mechanism: affecting the efflux pump by direct interaction with protein NorA and indirectly inhibiting the norA gene expression, possibly by affecting regulators present in the membrane altered by menadione. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics and Nano-Organization in Plasma Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Diffusion Dialysis for Separation of Hydrochloric Acid, Iron and Zinc Ions from Highly Concentrated Pickling Solutions
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060129 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 252
Abstract
Acid recovery from pickling waste solutions is an important step to enhance hot-dip-galvanizing industry process sustainability. Diffusion dialysis (DD) can be used to separate acids and heavy metals (e.g., iron and zinc) from pickling waters, promoting the circular use of such raw materials. [...] Read more.
Acid recovery from pickling waste solutions is an important step to enhance hot-dip-galvanizing industry process sustainability. Diffusion dialysis (DD) can be used to separate acids and heavy metals (e.g., iron and zinc) from pickling waters, promoting the circular use of such raw materials. In the present study, a laboratory scale unit operating in batch and a continuous large scale unit, both equipped with Fumasep anionic exchange membranes, were tested. Results obtained show that zinc and iron concentration affect the HCl recovery in opposite ways. Iron chlorides enhance acid recovery, while zinc chlorides considerably tend to diffuse through the membrane because of negatively charged chloro-complexes formation and slightly reduce the acid diffusion. A multi-components mathematical model, with a time-dependent and distributed-parameters architecture, was adopted enabling the prediction of operations with hydrochloric acid, zinc, and iron metals both in batch and in continuous dialyzers. As a result, a good comparison between model simulations and experiments was achieved in both configurations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technologies for Resource Recovery)
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Open AccessReview
Solid-Contact Ion-Selective Electrodes: Response Mechanisms, Transducer Materials and Wearable Sensors
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060128 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Wearable sensors based on solid-contact ion-selective electrodes (SC-ISEs) are currently attracting intensive attention in monitoring human health conditions through real-time and non-invasive analysis of ions in biological fluids. SC-ISEs have gone through a revolution with improvements in potential stability and reproducibility. The introduction [...] Read more.
Wearable sensors based on solid-contact ion-selective electrodes (SC-ISEs) are currently attracting intensive attention in monitoring human health conditions through real-time and non-invasive analysis of ions in biological fluids. SC-ISEs have gone through a revolution with improvements in potential stability and reproducibility. The introduction of new transducing materials, the understanding of theoretical potentiometric responses, and wearable applications greatly facilitate SC-ISEs. We review recent advances in SC-ISEs including the response mechanism (redox capacitance and electric-double-layer capacitance mechanisms) and crucial solid transducer materials (conducting polymers, carbon and other nanomaterials) and applications in wearable sensors. At the end of the review we illustrate the existing challenges and prospects for future SC-ISEs. We expect this review to provide readers with a general picture of SC-ISEs and appeal to further establishing protocols for evaluating SC-ISEs and accelerating commercial wearable sensors for clinical diagnosis and family practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Performance of Electrodialysis in the Removal of the Most Potent Odor-Active Compounds of Herring Milt Hydrolysate: Focus on Ion-Exchange Membrane Fouling and Water Dissociation as Limiting Process Conditions
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060127 - 20 Jun 2020
Viewed by 251
Abstract
Herring milt hydrolysate (HMH), like many fish products, presents the drawback to be associated with off-flavors. As odor is an important criterion, an effective deodorization method targeting the volatile compounds responsible for off-flavors needs to be developed. The potential of electrodialysis (ED) to [...] Read more.
Herring milt hydrolysate (HMH), like many fish products, presents the drawback to be associated with off-flavors. As odor is an important criterion, an effective deodorization method targeting the volatile compounds responsible for off-flavors needs to be developed. The potential of electrodialysis (ED) to remove the 15 volatile compounds identified, in the first part of this work, for their main contribution to the odor of HMH, as well as trimethylamine, dimethylamine and trimethylamine oxide, was assessed by testing the impact of both hydrolysate pH (4 and 7) and current conditions (no current vs. current applied). The ED performance was compared with that of a deaerator by assessing three hydrolysate pH values (4, 7 and 10). The initial pH of HMH had a huge impact on the targeted compounds, while ED had no effect. The fouling formation, resulting from electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions between HMH constituents and ion-exchange membranes (IEM); the occurrence of water dissociation on IEM interfaces, due to the reaching of the limiting current density; and the presence of water dissociation catalyzers were considered as the major limiting process conditions. The deaerator treatment on hydrolysate at pH 7 and its alkalization until pH 10 led to the best removal of odorant compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fouling and Anti-Fouling of Ion-Exchange Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Direct Measurement of Crossover and Interfacial Resistance of Ion-Exchange Membranes in All-Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060126 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Among various components commonly used in redox flow batteries (RFBs), the separator plays a significant role, influencing resistance to current as well as capacity decay via unintended crossover. It is well-established that the ohmic overpotential is dominated by the membrane and interfacial resistance [...] Read more.
Among various components commonly used in redox flow batteries (RFBs), the separator plays a significant role, influencing resistance to current as well as capacity decay via unintended crossover. It is well-established that the ohmic overpotential is dominated by the membrane and interfacial resistance in most aqueous RFBs. The ultimate goal of engineering membranes is to improve the ionic conductivity while keeping crossover at a minimum. One of the major issues yet to be addressed is the contribution of interfacial phenomena in the influence of ionic and water transport through the membrane. In this work, we have utilized a novel experimental system capable of measuring the ionic crossover in real-time to quantify the permeability of ionic species. Specifically, we have focused on quantifying the contributions from the interfacial resistance to ionic crossover. The trade-off between the mass and ionic transport impedance caused by the interface of the membranes has been addressed. The MacMullin number has been quantified for a series of electrolyte configurations and a correlation between the ionic conductivity of the contacting electrolyte and the Nafion® membrane has been established. The performance of individual ion-exchange membranes along with a stack of various separators have been explored. We have found that utilizing a stack of membranes is significantly beneficial in reducing the electroactive species crossover in redox flow batteries compared to a single membrane of the same fold thickness. For example, we have demonstrated that the utilization of five layers of Nafion® 211 membrane reduces the crossover by 37% while only increasing the area-specific resistance (ASR) by 15% compared to a single layer Nafion® 115 membrane. Therefore, the influence of interfacial impedance in reducing the vanadium ion crossover is substantially higher compared to a corresponding increase in ASR, indicating that mass and ohmic interfacial resistances are dissimilar. We have expanded our analysis to a combination of commercially available ion-exchange membranes and provided a design chart for membrane selection based on the application of interest (short duration/high-performance vs. long-term durability). The results of this study provide a deeper insight into the optimization of all-vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Membranes in Battery & Membrane Based Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
The Development of Electroconvection at the Surface of a Heterogeneous Cation-Exchange Membrane Modified with Perfluorosulfonic Acid Polymer Film Containing Titanium Oxide
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060125 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 300
Abstract
One way to enhance mass transfer and reduce fouling in wastewater electrodialysis is stimulation of electroconvective mixing of the solution adjoining membranes by modifying their surfaces. Several samples were prepared by casting the perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer film doped with TiO2 nanoparticles [...] Read more.
One way to enhance mass transfer and reduce fouling in wastewater electrodialysis is stimulation of electroconvective mixing of the solution adjoining membranes by modifying their surfaces. Several samples were prepared by casting the perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer film doped with TiO2 nanoparticles onto the surface of the heterogeneous cation-exchange membrane MK-40. It is found that changes in surface characteristics conditioned by such modification lead to an increase in the limiting current density due to the stimulation of electroconvection, which develops according to the mechanism of electroosmosis of the first kind. The greatest increase in the current compared to the pristine membrane can be obtained by modification with the film being 20 μm thick and containing 3 wt% of TiO2. The sample containing 6 wt% of TiO2 provides higher mass transfer in overlimiting current modes due to the development of nonequilibrium electroconvection. A 1.5-fold increase in the thickness of the modifying film reduces the positive effect of introducing TiO2 nanoparticles due to (1) partial shielding of the nanoparticles on the surface of the modified membrane; (2) a decrease in the tangential component of the electric force, which affects the development of electroconvection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fouling and Anti-Fouling of Ion-Exchange Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
ZrO2-TiO2 Incorporated PVDF Dual-Layer Hollow Fiber Membrane for Oily Wastewater Treatment: Effect of Air Gap
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060124 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Dual-layer hollow fiber (DLHF) nanocomposite membrane prepared by co-extrusion technique allows a uniform distribution of nanoparticles within the membrane outer layer to enhance the membrane performance. The effects of spinning parameters especially the air gap on the physico-chemical properties of ZrO2-TiO [...] Read more.
Dual-layer hollow fiber (DLHF) nanocomposite membrane prepared by co-extrusion technique allows a uniform distribution of nanoparticles within the membrane outer layer to enhance the membrane performance. The effects of spinning parameters especially the air gap on the physico-chemical properties of ZrO2-TiO2 nanoparticles incorporated PVDF DLHF membranes for oily wastewater treatment have been investigated in this study. The zeta potential of the nanoparticles was measured to be around –16.5 mV. FESEM–EDX verified the uniform distribution of Ti, Zr, and O elements throughout the nanoparticle sample and the TEM images showed an average nanoparticles grain size of ~12 nm. Meanwhile, the size distribution intensity was around 716 nm. A lower air gap was found to suppress the macrovoid growth which resulted in the formation of thin outer layer incorporated with nanoparticles. The improvement in the separation performance of PVDF DLHF membranes embedded with ZrO2-TiO2 nanoparticles by about 5.7% in comparison to the neat membrane disclosed that the incorporation of ZrO2-TiO2 nanoparticles make them potentially useful for oily wastewater treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis for Reverse Temperature Dependence of Hydrogen Permeability through Pd-X (X = Y, Ho, Ni) Alloy Membranes Based on Hydrogen Chemical Potential
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060123 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 252
Abstract
It is generally understood that the hydrogen permeability of Pd-Ag alloy membranes declines with decreasing temperature. However, recent studies have revealed that the hydrogen permeability of Pd-Ag alloy membranes inversely increases at a certain temperature range and reaches a peak. The peak behavior [...] Read more.
It is generally understood that the hydrogen permeability of Pd-Ag alloy membranes declines with decreasing temperature. However, recent studies have revealed that the hydrogen permeability of Pd-Ag alloy membranes inversely increases at a certain temperature range and reaches a peak. The peak behavior reflects the shape of pressure-composition isotherms (PCT curves). In order to elucidate the relationship between the reverse temperature dependence of hydrogen permeability and the PCT curves, the hydrogen permeability of pure Pd and Pd-X (X = Ho, Y, and Ni) alloy membranes were investigated. The pure Pd and Pd-5 mol%Ni alloy membranes, in which the α-α’ phase transition occurs, exhibits more significant peak behaviors than Pd-5 mol%Ho, Pd-5 mol%Y, and Pd-23 mol%Ag alloy membranes, in which the α-α’ phase transition is suppressed. Large differences in hydrogen solubility, at the hydrogen pressures above and below the plateau region or the inflection point, make the peak behaviors more significant. It is revealed that the peak temperature can be roughly predicted by the hydrogen pressure at the plateau regions or the inflection points in the PCT curves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hydrogen Permeable Metal Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Improvement and Biofouling Mitigation in Osmotic Microbial Fuel Cells via In Situ Formation of Silver Nanoparticles on Forward Osmosis Membrane
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060122 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 272
Abstract
An osmotic microbial fuel cell (OsMFC) using a forward osmosis (FO) membrane to replace the proton exchange membrane in a typical MFC achieves superior electricity production and better effluent water quality during municipal wastewater treatment. However, inevitable FO membrane fouling, especially biofouling, has [...] Read more.
An osmotic microbial fuel cell (OsMFC) using a forward osmosis (FO) membrane to replace the proton exchange membrane in a typical MFC achieves superior electricity production and better effluent water quality during municipal wastewater treatment. However, inevitable FO membrane fouling, especially biofouling, has a significantly adverse impact on water flux and thus hinders the stable operation of the OsMFC. Here, we proposed a method for biofouling mitigation of the FO membrane and further improvement in current generation of the OsMFC by applying a silver nanoparticle (AgNP) modified FO membrane. The characteristic tests revealed that the AgNP modified thin film composite (TFC) polyamide FO membrane showed advanced hydrophilicity, more negative zeta potential and better antibacterial property. The biofouling of the FO membrane in OsMFC was effectively alleviated by using the AgNP modified membrane. This phenomenon could be attributed to the changes of TFC–FO membrane properties and the antibacterial property of AgNPs on the membrane surface. An increased hydrophilicity and a more negative zeta potential of the modified membrane enhanced the repulsion between foulants and membrane surface. In addition, AgNPs directly disturbed the functions of microorganisms deposited on the membrane surface. Owing to the biofouling mitigation of the AgNP modified membrane, the water flux and electricity generation of OsMFC were correspondingly improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Applications 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Hydrophilic PVDF Membrane Using Vapour Induced Phase Separation Method for Produced Water Treatment
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060121 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 344
Abstract
During the production of oil and gas, a large amount of oily wastewater is generated, which would pollute the environment if discharged without proper treatment. As one of the most promising treatment options, membrane material used for oily wastewater treatment should possess desirable [...] Read more.
During the production of oil and gas, a large amount of oily wastewater is generated, which would pollute the environment if discharged without proper treatment. As one of the most promising treatment options, membrane material used for oily wastewater treatment should possess desirable properties of high hydraulic performance combined with high membrane fouling resistance. This project employs the vapor induced phase separation (VIPS) technique to develop a hydrophilic polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane with polyethylene glycol (PEG) as an additive for produced water treatment. Results show that thanks to its slow nonsolvent intake, the VIPS method hinders additive leaching during the cast film immersion. The results also reveal that the exposure of the film to the open air before immersion greatly influences the structure of the developed membranes. By extending the exposure time from 0 to 30 min, the membrane morphology change from typical asymmetric with large macrovoids to the macrovoid-free porous symmetric membrane with a granular structure, which corresponds to 35% increment of steady-state permeability to 189 L·m−2h−1bar−1, while maintaining >90% of oil rejection. It was also found that more PEG content resides in the membrane matrix when the exposure time is extended, contributes to the elevation of surface hydrophilicity, which improves the membrane antifouling properties. Overall results demonstrate the potential of VIPS method for the fabrication of hydrophilic PVDF membrane by helping to preserve hydrophilic additive in the membrane matrices. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review for Consistent Analysis of Hydrogen Permeability through Dense Metallic Membranes
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060120 - 10 Jun 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
The hydrogen permeation coefficient (ϕ) is generally used as a measure to show hydrogen permeation ability through dense metallic membranes, which is the product of the Fick’s diffusion coefficient (D) and the Sieverts’ solubility constant (K). However, [...] Read more.
The hydrogen permeation coefficient (ϕ) is generally used as a measure to show hydrogen permeation ability through dense metallic membranes, which is the product of the Fick’s diffusion coefficient (D) and the Sieverts’ solubility constant (K). However, the hydrogen permeability of metal membranes cannot be analyzed consistently with this conventional description. In this paper, various methods for consistent analysis of hydrogen permeability are reviewed. The derivations of the descriptions are explained in detail and four applications of the consistent descriptions of hydrogen permeability are introduced: (1) prediction of hydrogen flux under given conditions, (2) comparability of hydrogen permeability, (3) understanding of the anomalous temperature dependence of hydrogen permeability of Pd-Ag alloy membrane, and (4) design of alloy composition of non-Pd-based alloy membranes to satisfy both high hydrogen permeability together with strong resistance to hydrogen embrittlement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hydrogen Permeable Metal Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Free Standing, Large-Area Silicon Nitride Membranes for High Toxin Clearance in Blood Surrogate for Small-Format Hemodialysis
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060119 - 06 Jun 2020
Viewed by 436
Abstract
Developing highly-efficient membranes for toxin clearance in small-format hemodialysis presents a fabrication challenge. The miniaturization of fluidics and controls has been the focus of current work on hemodialysis (HD) devices. This approach has not addressed the membrane efficiency needed for toxin clearance in [...] Read more.
Developing highly-efficient membranes for toxin clearance in small-format hemodialysis presents a fabrication challenge. The miniaturization of fluidics and controls has been the focus of current work on hemodialysis (HD) devices. This approach has not addressed the membrane efficiency needed for toxin clearance in small-format hemodialysis devices. Dr. Willem Kolff built the first dialyzer in 1943 and many changes have been made to HD technology since then. However, conventional HD still uses large instruments with bulky dialysis cartridges made of ~2 m2 of 10 micron thick, tortuous-path membrane material. Portable, wearable, and implantable HD systems may improve clinical outcomes for patients with end-stage renal disease by increasing the frequency of dialysis. The ability of ultrathin silicon-based sheet membranes to clear toxins is tested along with an analytical model predicting long-term multi-pass experiments from single-pass clearance experiments. Advanced fabrication methods are introduced that produce a new type of nanoporous silicon nitride sheet membrane that features the pore sizes needed for middle-weight toxin removal. Benchtop clearance results with sheet membranes (~3 cm2) match a theoretical model and indicate that sheet membranes can reduce (by orders of magnitude) the amount of membrane material required for hemodialysis. This provides the performance needed for small-format hemodialysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Silicon Membranes)
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Combined Effect of Colloids and SMP on Membrane Fouling in MBRs
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060118 - 06 Jun 2020
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Membrane fouling investigations in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are a top research issue. The aim of this work is to study the combined effect of colloids and soluble microbial products (SMPs) on membrane fouling. Two lab-pilot MBRs were investigated for treating two types of [...] Read more.
Membrane fouling investigations in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are a top research issue. The aim of this work is to study the combined effect of colloids and soluble microbial products (SMPs) on membrane fouling. Two lab-pilot MBRs were investigated for treating two types of wastewater (wwt), synthetic and domestic. Transmembrane pressure (TMP), SMP, particle size distribution and treatment efficiency were evaluated. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) removal and nitrification were successful for both kinds of sewage reaching up to 95–97% and 100%, respectively. Domestic wwt presented 5.5 times more SMP proteins and 11 times more SMP carbohydrates compared to the synthetic one. In contrast, synthetic wwt had around 20% more colloids in the mixed liquor with a size lower than membrane pore size (<400 nm) than domestic. Finally, the TMP at 36 days reached 16 kPa for synthetic wwt and 11 kPa for domestic. Therefore, synthetic wwt, despite its low concentration of SMPs, caused severe membrane fouling compared to domestic, a result that is attributed to the increased concentration of colloids. Consequently, the quantity of colloids and possibly their special characteristics play decisive and more important roles in membrane fouling compared to the SMP—a novel conclusion that can be used to mitigate membranes fouling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Membrane Bioreactors)
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A Molecular Dynamics Study on Rotational Nanofluid and Its Application to Desalination
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060117 - 06 Jun 2020
Viewed by 313
Abstract
In this work, we systematically study a rotational nanofluidic device for reverse osmosis (RO) desalination by using large scale molecular dynamics modeling and simulation. Moreover, we have compared Molecular Dynamics simulation with fluid mechanics modeling. We have found that the pressure generated by [...] Read more.
In this work, we systematically study a rotational nanofluidic device for reverse osmosis (RO) desalination by using large scale molecular dynamics modeling and simulation. Moreover, we have compared Molecular Dynamics simulation with fluid mechanics modeling. We have found that the pressure generated by the centrifugal motion of nanofluids can counterbalance the osmosis pressure developed from the concentration gradient, and hence provide a driving force to filtrate fresh water from salt water. Molecular Dynamics modeling of two different types of designs are performed and compared. Results indicate that this novel nanofluidic device is not only able to alleviate the fouling problem significantly, but it is also capable of maintaining high membrane permeability and energy efficiency. The angular velocity of the nanofluids within the device is investigated, and the critical angular velocity needed for the fluids to overcome the osmotic pressure is derived. Meanwhile, a maximal angular velocity value is also identified to avoid Taylor-Couette instability. The MD simulation results agree well with continuum modeling results obtained from fluid hydrodynamics theory, which provides a theoretical foundation for scaling up the proposed rotational osmosis device. Successful fabrication of such rotational RO membrane centrifuge may potentially revolutionize the membrane desalination technology by providing a fundamental solution to the water resource problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Modeling and Performance Prediction of Nanofiltration)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Characteristics of Glycerolized PEO-Based Polymer Electrolytes
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060116 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 352
Abstract
In this article, poly(ethylene oxide)-based polymer electrolyte films doped with ammonium iodide (NH4I) and plasticized with glycerol were provided by a solution casting method. In the unplasticized system, the maximum ionic conductivity of 3.96×105 S cm [...] Read more.
In this article, poly(ethylene oxide)-based polymer electrolyte films doped with ammonium iodide (NH4I) and plasticized with glycerol were provided by a solution casting method. In the unplasticized system, the maximum ionic conductivity of 3.96 × 10 5   S cm−1 was achieved by the electrolyte comprised of 70 wt. % PEO:30 wt. % NH4I. The conductivity was further enhanced up to   ( 1.77 × 10 4 S cm−1) for the plasticized system when 10 wt. % glycerol was added to the highest conducting unplasticized one at ambient temperature. The films were characterized by various techniques to evaluate their electrochemical performance. The results of impedance spectroscopy revealed that bulk resistance (Rb) considerably decreased for the highest plasticized polymer electrolyte. The dielectric properties and electric modulus parameters were studied in detail. The LSV analysis verified that the plasticized system can be used in energy storage devices with electrochemical stability up to 1.09 V and the TNM data elucidated that the ions were the main charge carrier. The values of the ion transference number (tion) and electron transfer number (tel) were calculated. The nonappearance of any redox peaks in the cyclic voltammograms indicated that the chemical reaction had not occurred at the electrode/electrolyte interface. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influences of Combined Organic Fouling and Inorganic Scaling on Flux and Fouling Behaviors in Forward Osmosis
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060115 - 02 Jun 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
This study investigated the influence of combined organic fouling and inorganic scaling on the flux and fouling behaviors of thin-film composite (TFC) forward osmosis (FO) membranes. Two organic macromolecules, namely, bovine serum albumin (BSA) and sodium alginate (SA), and gypsum (GS), as an [...] Read more.
This study investigated the influence of combined organic fouling and inorganic scaling on the flux and fouling behaviors of thin-film composite (TFC) forward osmosis (FO) membranes. Two organic macromolecules, namely, bovine serum albumin (BSA) and sodium alginate (SA), and gypsum (GS), as an inorganic scaling agent, were selected as model foulants. It was found that GS scaling alone caused the most severe flux decline. When a mixture of organic and inorganic foulants was employed, the flux decline was retarded, compared with when the filtration was performed with only the inorganic scaling agent (GS). The early onset of the conditioning layer formation, which was due to the organics, was probably the underlying mechanism for this inhibitory phenomenon, which had suppressed the deposition and growth of the GS crystals. Although the combined fouling resulted in less flux decline, compared with GS scaling alone, the concoction of SA and GS resulted in more fouling and flux decline, compared with the mixture of BSA and GS. This was because of the carboxyl acidity of the alginate, which attracted calcium ions and formed an intermolecular bridge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Engineering and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
PVA-Based Mixed Matrix Membranes Comprising ZSM-5 for Cations Separation
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060114 - 30 May 2020
Viewed by 380
Abstract
The traditional ion-exchange membranes face the trade-off effect between the ion flux and perm-selectivity, which limits their application for selective ion separation. Herein, we amalgamated various amounts of the ZSM-5 with the polyvinyl alcohol as ions transport pathways to improve the permeability of [...] Read more.
The traditional ion-exchange membranes face the trade-off effect between the ion flux and perm-selectivity, which limits their application for selective ion separation. Herein, we amalgamated various amounts of the ZSM-5 with the polyvinyl alcohol as ions transport pathways to improve the permeability of monovalent cations and exclusively reject the divalent cations. The highest contents of ZSM-5 in the mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) can be extended up to 60 wt% while the MMMs with optimized content (50 wt%) achieved high perm-selectivity of 34.4 and 3.7 for H+/Zn2+ and Li+/Mg2+ systems, respectively. The obtained results are high in comparison with the commercial CSO membrane. The presence of cationic exchange sites in the ZSM-5 initiated the fast transport of proton, while the microporous crystalline morphology restricted the active transport of larger hydrated cations from the solutions. Moreover, the participating sites and porosity of ZSM-5 granted continuous channels for ions electromigration in order to give high limiting current density to the MMMs. The SEM analysis further exhibited that using ZSM-5 as conventional fillers, gave a uniform and homogenous formation to the membranes. However, the optimized amount of fillers and the assortment of a proper dispersion phase are two critical aspects and must be considered to avoid defects and agglomeration of these enhancers during the formation of membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromembrane Processes: Experiments and Modelling)
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Open AccessArticle
How Overlimiting Current Condition Influences Lactic Acid Recovery and Demineralization by Electrodialysis with Nanofiltration Membrane: Comparison with Conventional Electrodialysis
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060113 - 27 May 2020
Viewed by 406
Abstract
Acid whey is the main co-product resulting from the production of fresh cheeses and Greek-type yogurts. It generally goes through a spray-drying process prior to valorization, but it needs to be deacidified (lactic acid recovery) and demineralized beforehand to obtain a powder of [...] Read more.
Acid whey is the main co-product resulting from the production of fresh cheeses and Greek-type yogurts. It generally goes through a spray-drying process prior to valorization, but it needs to be deacidified (lactic acid recovery) and demineralized beforehand to obtain a powder of quality with all the preserved compounds of interest such as lactose and proteins. Electrodialysis (ED) is a process actually used for acid whey treatment, but scaling formation at the surface of the ion-exchange membrane is still a major problem. In this work, a combination of two new avenues of ED treatment has been studied. First, the integration of a nanofiltration (NF) membrane in an ED conventional stack was compared to a classical ED stack with an anion-exchange membrane in a standard current condition. Secondly, both configurations were tested in the overlimiting current condition to study the impact of electroconvective vortices on process efficiency. The combined effects of the NF membrane and overlimiting current condition led to a higher lactic acid recovery rate of acid whey (40%), while the conventional ED stack in the overlimiting current condition led to a higher demineralization (87% based on the total cation concentration). Those effects were related to the conductivity, pH, global resistance, and energy consumption of each treatment that are influenced by water splitting phenomenon, which was decreased in the overlimiting condition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Poly(ε-Caprolactone) Hollow Fiber Membranes for the Biofabrication of a Vascularized Human Liver Tissue
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060112 - 27 May 2020
Viewed by 446
Abstract
The creation of a liver tissue that recapitulates the micro-architecture and functional complexity of a human organ is still one of the main challenges of liver tissue engineering. Here we report on the development of a 3D vascularized hepatic tissue based on biodegradable [...] Read more.
The creation of a liver tissue that recapitulates the micro-architecture and functional complexity of a human organ is still one of the main challenges of liver tissue engineering. Here we report on the development of a 3D vascularized hepatic tissue based on biodegradable hollow fiber (HF) membranes of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) that compartmentalize human hepatocytes on the external surface and between the fibers, and endothelial cells into the fiber lumen. To this purpose, PCL HF membranes were prepared by a dry-jet wet phase inversion spinning technique tailoring the operational parameters in order to obtain fibers with suitable properties. After characterization, the fibers were applied to generate a human vascularized hepatic unit by loading endothelial cells in their inner surface and hepatocytes on the external surface. The unit was connected to a perfusion system, and the morpho-functional behavior was evaluated. The results demonstrated the large integration of endothelial cells with the internal surface of individual PCL fibers forming vascular-like structures, and hepatocytes covered completely the external surface and the space between fibers. The perfused 3D hepatic unit retained its functional activity at high levels up to 18 days. This bottom-up tissue engineering approach represents a rational strategy to create relatively 3D vascularized tissues and organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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