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Membranes, Volume 11, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 91 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The formation of porous structures from polymer solutions at the surface in contact with solid surfaces via a thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) process was numerically investigated. When the compatibilities between the polymer-rich phase formed by the phase separation and the solid surface were high or low, surface porosity decreased. In contrast, for the solid surface with similar compatibilities with the polymer and solvent, high surface porosity was achieved. This indicates that the compatibility between the solid surface and polymer solution is important, and optimal compatibility results in high surface porosity. The knowledge obtained in this work could be useful in designing the coagulation bath component in the membrane preparation process by TIPS for achieving high surface porosity. View this paper.
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Article
Graphene Flakes Decorated with Dispersed Gold Nanoparticles as Nanomaterial Layer for ISEs
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070548 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 916
Abstract
This paper proposes a new type of solid-contact layer based on graphene/gold nanoparticles for ion-selective electrodes. A novel approach to preparing the material for intermediate layer by modifying the graphene flakes by gold nanoparticles is presented. With this approach, we observed a large [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a new type of solid-contact layer based on graphene/gold nanoparticles for ion-selective electrodes. A novel approach to preparing the material for intermediate layer by modifying the graphene flakes by gold nanoparticles is presented. With this approach, we observed a large surface area of material and in consequence high electrical capacitance of electrodes. We have obtained satisfactory results demonstrating that the modification of graphene with gold allows for enhancing electrical and wetting properties of carbon nanomaterial. Electrical capacitance of designed nanocomposite-contacted electrode equals to approximately 280 µF, which in consequence ensures great long-term potential stability defined by the potential drift of 36 μV/h. The modification of graphene with nanoparticles completely changed its wetting properties, as the designed material turned out to be hydrophobic with a water contact angle of 115°. Graphene/gold nanoparticles–contacted electrodes are insensitive to the changing light conditions, exhibiting near-Nernstian response in the potassium concentration range between 10−5.9 M and 10−1 M of K+ ions and may be applied in the pH range between 2 and 10.5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrochemical Sensors Based on Nanomaterial Layers)
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Article
Sharing Mechanical Ventilator: In Vitro Evaluation of Circuit Cross-Flows and Patient Interactions
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070547 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of mechanical ventilators was reported and ventilator sharing between patients was proposed as an ultimate solution. Two lung simulators were ventilated by one anesthesia machine connected through two respiratory circuits and T-pieces. Five different combinations of compliances [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of mechanical ventilators was reported and ventilator sharing between patients was proposed as an ultimate solution. Two lung simulators were ventilated by one anesthesia machine connected through two respiratory circuits and T-pieces. Five different combinations of compliances (30–50 mL × cmH2O−1) and resistances (5–20 cmH2O × L−1 × s−1) were tested. The ventilation setting was: pressure-controlled ventilation, positive end-expiratory pressure 15 cmH2O, inspiratory pressure 10 cmH2O, respiratory rate 20 bpm. Pressures and flows from all the circuit sections have been recorded and analyzed. Simulated patients with equal compliance and resistance received similar ventilation. Compliance reduction from 50 to 30 mL × cmH2O−1 decreased the tidal volume (VT) by 32% (418 ± 49 vs. 285 ± 17 mL). The resistance increase from 5 to 20 cmH2O × L−1 × s−1 decreased VT by 22% (425 ± 69 vs. 331 ± 51 mL). The maximal alveolar pressure was lower at higher compliance and resistance values and decreased linearly with the time constant (r² = 0.80, p < 0.001). The minimum alveolar pressure ranged from 15.5 ± 0.04 to 16.57 ± 0.04 cmH2O. Cross-flows between the simulated patients have been recorded in all the tested combinations, during both the inspiratory and expiratory phases. The simultaneous ventilation of two patients with one ventilator may be unable to match individual patient’s needs and has a high risk of cross-interference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Era)
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Article
Phosphate Adsorption from Aqueous Solution Using Electrospun Cellulose Acetate Nanofiber Membrane Modified with Graphene Oxide/Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070546 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
Eutrophication and water pollution caused by a high concentration of phosphate are two concerning issues that affect water quality worldwide. A novel cellulose-based adsorbent, cellulose acetate/graphene oxide/sodium dodecyl sulphate (CA/GO/SDS), was developed for water treatment. A 13% CA solution in a mixture of [...] Read more.
Eutrophication and water pollution caused by a high concentration of phosphate are two concerning issues that affect water quality worldwide. A novel cellulose-based adsorbent, cellulose acetate/graphene oxide/sodium dodecyl sulphate (CA/GO/SDS), was developed for water treatment. A 13% CA solution in a mixture of acetone:dimethylacetamide (2:1) has been electrospun and complexed with a GO/SDS solution. The field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) showed that the CA membrane was pure white, while the CA/GO/SDS membrane was not as white as CA and its colour became darker as the GO content increased. The process of phosphate removal from the solutions was found to be aided by the hydroxyl groups on the surface of the CA modified with GO/SDS, as shown by infrared spectroscopy. An optimization condition for the adsorption process was studied by varying pH, immersion time, and the mass of the membrane. The experimental results from phosphate adsorption showed that CA/GO/SDS had an excellent pH adaptability, with an optimum pH of 7, and maximum removal (>87.0%) was observed with a membrane mass of 0.05 g at an initial concentration of 25 mg L−1. A kinetic study revealed that 180 min of contact time could adsorb about 87.2% of phosphate onto the CA/GO/SDS membrane. A typical pseudo-second-order kinetic model successfully portrayed the kinetic sorption of phosphate, and the adsorption equilibrium data were well-correlated with the Langmuir adsorption model, suggesting the monolayer coverage of adsorbed molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Issue in Honor of Professor Ahmad Fauzi Ismail)
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Review
Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation Cadaver Donors: What about Tissues Used as Allografts?
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070545 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 837
Abstract
Several studies demonstrated the efficacy of post-mortem extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) on donors in preserving organ function addressing organ transplantation. Nevertheless, no common and shared evidence was reached about the possibility of using ECMO donors in tissue harvesting. Therefore, this work aimed first [...] Read more.
Several studies demonstrated the efficacy of post-mortem extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) on donors in preserving organ function addressing organ transplantation. Nevertheless, no common and shared evidence was reached about the possibility of using ECMO donors in tissue harvesting. Therefore, this work aimed first to review the current scientific literature about ECMO donors, and then to focus on the use of ECMO tissues as allografts, mainly addressing musculoskeletal tissues, which are of the most interest for reconstruction. A search was conducted on the current scientific literature, focusing on the keywords “ECMO” and “Donor”. Several online databases were used, including PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. From the preliminary search, 478 articles were obtained, out of which 173 specifically reported the use of ECMO for donation and transplantation purposes. Literature reported extensive analyses of ECMO organs—overall from the abdomen—both in pre- and post-transplantation studies. On the other hand, ECMO tissues were explanted only in a very limited number of cases; moreover, no information was referred about their status and use. A revision of the current scientific literature highlighted the lack of information concerning ECMO tissues and the necessity to perform preclinical, ex vivo studies to compare allografts from ECMO donors, with respect to standard donors, and, thus, to verify whether they can be harvested and implanted safely and with efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Era)
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Case Report
COVID-19-Related Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in a Pregnant Woman Supported on ECMO: The Juxtaposition of Bleeding in a Hypercoagulable State
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070544 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1199
Abstract
A 40-year-old pregnant woman at 28 weeks of gestation was diagnosed with severe acute respiratory failure syndrome (ARDS) due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). She had severe hypoxemia despite the use of mechanical ventilation and muscle relaxant infusion. Veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) [...] Read more.
A 40-year-old pregnant woman at 28 weeks of gestation was diagnosed with severe acute respiratory failure syndrome (ARDS) due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). She had severe hypoxemia despite the use of mechanical ventilation and muscle relaxant infusion. Veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) was used, and she had a cesarian section while on ECMO support. She developed disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) with overt bleeding. This was managed by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) and a change of the ECMO circuit resulted in a dramatic improvement of her coagulation profile. Both the mother and the baby were discharged and went home in good condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Era)
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Article
First-Principles Density Functional Theory Calculations of Bilayer Membranes Heterostructures of Ti3C2T2 (MXene)/Graphene and AgNPs
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070543 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
The properties of two-dimensional (2D) layered membrane systems can be medullated by the stacking arrangement and the heterostructure composition of the membrane. This largely affects the performance and stability of such membranes. Here, we have used first-principle density functional theory calculations to conduct [...] Read more.
The properties of two-dimensional (2D) layered membrane systems can be medullated by the stacking arrangement and the heterostructure composition of the membrane. This largely affects the performance and stability of such membranes. Here, we have used first-principle density functional theory calculations to conduct a comparative study of two heterostructural bilayer systems of the 2D-MXene (Ti3C2T2, T = F, O, and OH) sheets with graphene and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). For all considered surface terminations, the binding energy of the MXene/graphene and MXene/AgNPs bilayers increases as compared with graphene/graphene and MXene/MXene bilayer structures. Such strong interlayer interactions are due to profound variations of electrostatic potential across the layers. Larger interlayer binding energies in MXene/graphene systems were obtained even in the presence of water molecules, indicating enhanced stability of such a hybrid system against delamination. We also studied the structural properties of Ti3C2X2 MXene (X = F, O and OH) decorated with silver nanoclusters Agn (n ≤ 6). We found that regardless of surface functionalization, Ag nanoclusters were strongly adsorbed on the surface of MXene. In addition, Ag nanoparticles enhanced the binding energy between MXene layers. These findings can be useful in enhancing the structural properties of MXene membranes for water purification applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancements of 2D Materials-Based Membranes)
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Article
Fabrication of Gum Arabic-Graphene (GGA) Modified Polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) Mixed Matrix Membranes: A Systematic Evaluation Study for Ultrafiltration (UF) Applications
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070542 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1310
Abstract
In the current work, a Gum, Arabic-modified Graphene (GGA), has been synthesized via a facile green method and employed for the first time as an additive for enhancement of the PPSU ultrafiltration membrane properties. A series of PPSU membranes containing very low (0–0.25) [...] Read more.
In the current work, a Gum, Arabic-modified Graphene (GGA), has been synthesized via a facile green method and employed for the first time as an additive for enhancement of the PPSU ultrafiltration membrane properties. A series of PPSU membranes containing very low (0–0.25) wt.% GGA were prepared, and their chemical structure and morphology were comprehensively investigated through atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Besides, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was harnessed to measure thermal characteristics, while surface hydrophilicity was determined by the contact angle. The PPSU-GGA membrane performance was assessed through volumetric flux, solute flux, and retention of sodium alginate solution as an organic polysaccharide model. Results demonstrated that GGA structure had been successfully synthesized as confirmed XRD patterns. Besides, all membranes prepared using low GGA content could impart enhanced hydrophilic nature and permeation characteristics compared to pristine PPSU membranes. Moreover, greater thermal stability, surface roughness, and a noticeable decline in the mean pore size of the membrane were obtained. Full article
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Article
Development and Proof of Concept of a Compact Metallic Reactor for MIEC Ceramic Membranes
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070541 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
The integration of mixed ionic–electronic conducting separation membranes in catalytic membrane reactors can yield more environmentally safe and economically efficient processes. Concentration polarization effects are observed in these types of membranes when O2 permeating fluxes are significantly high. These undesired effects can [...] Read more.
The integration of mixed ionic–electronic conducting separation membranes in catalytic membrane reactors can yield more environmentally safe and economically efficient processes. Concentration polarization effects are observed in these types of membranes when O2 permeating fluxes are significantly high. These undesired effects can be overcome by the development of new membrane reactors where mass transport and heat transfer are enhanced by adopting state-of-the-art microfabrication. In addition, careful control over the fluid dynamics regime by employing compact metallic reactors equipped with microchannels could allow the rapid extraction of the products, minimizing undesired secondary reactions. Moreover, a high membrane surface area to catalyst volume ratio can be achieved. In this work, a compact metallic reactor was developed for the integration of mixed ionic–electronic conducting ceramic membranes. An asymmetric all-La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3–δ membrane was sealed to the metallic reactor by the reactive air brazing technique. O2 permeation was evaluated as a proof of concept, and the influence of different parameters, such as temperature, sweep gas flow rates and oxygen partial pressure in the feed gas, were evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization of Ceramic Membranes)
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Review
Modelling Nuclear Morphology and Shape Transformation: A Review
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070540 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1328
Abstract
As one of the most important cellular compartments, the nucleus contains genetic materials and separates them from the cytoplasm with the nuclear envelope (NE), a thin membrane that is susceptible to deformations caused by intracellular forces. Interestingly, accumulating evidence has also indicated that [...] Read more.
As one of the most important cellular compartments, the nucleus contains genetic materials and separates them from the cytoplasm with the nuclear envelope (NE), a thin membrane that is susceptible to deformations caused by intracellular forces. Interestingly, accumulating evidence has also indicated that the morphology change of NE is tightly related to nuclear mechanotransduction and the pathogenesis of diseases such as cancer and Hutchinson–Gilford Progeria Syndrome. Theoretically, with the help of well-designed experiments, significant progress has been made in understanding the physical mechanisms behind nuclear shape transformation in different cellular processes as well as its biological implications. Here, we review different continuum-level (i.e., energy minimization, boundary integral and finite element-based) approaches that have been developed to predict the morphology and shape change of the cell nucleus. Essential gradients, relative advantages and limitations of each model will be discussed in detail, with the hope of sparking a greater research interest in this important topic in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biophysics and Mechanics of Cell Membranes)
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Article
Proton Conductive, Low Methanol Crossover Cellulose-Based Membranes
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070539 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1123
Abstract
This work describes the development of sulfated cellulose (SC) polymer and explores its potential as an electrolyte-membrane for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). The fabrication of our membranes was initiated by the preparation of the novel sulfated cellulose solution via controlled acid hydrolysis [...] Read more.
This work describes the development of sulfated cellulose (SC) polymer and explores its potential as an electrolyte-membrane for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). The fabrication of our membranes was initiated by the preparation of the novel sulfated cellulose solution via controlled acid hydrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC). Ion-conductive crosslinked SC membranes were prepared following a chemical crosslinking reaction. SC solution was chemically crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (GA) and cured at 30 °C to produce the aforementioned membranes. Effects of GA concentration on methanol permeability, proton conductivity, water uptake and thermal stabilities were investigated. The crosslinking reaction is confirmed by FTIR technique where a bond between the primary OH groups of cellulose and the GA aldehyde groups was achieved, leading to the increased hydrophobic backbone domains in the membrane. The results show that the time of crosslinking reaction highly affects the proton conduction and methanol permeability. The proton conductivity and methanol crossover (3M) of our GA crosslinked SC membranes are 3.7 × 10−2 mS cm−1 and 8.2 × 10−9 cm2 s−1, respectively. Crosslinked sulfated cellulose films have lower ion conductivity than the state-of-the-art Nafion (10.2 mS cm−1); however, the methanol crossover is three orders of magnitude lower than Nafion membranes (1.0 × 10−5 cm2 s−1 at 1 M). Such biofilms with high methanol resistivity address the major hurdle that prevents the widespread applications of direct alcohol fuel cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Polymeric Membranes: Science, Materials and Applications)
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Article
Effect of Acid Flow Rate, Membrane Surface Area, and Capture Solution on the Effectiveness of Suspended GPM Systems to Recover Ammonia
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070538 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
Ammonia losses from manure pose serious problems for ecosystems and human and animal health. Gas-permeable membranes (GPMs) constitute a promising approach to address the challenge of reducing farm ammonia emissions and to attain the EU’s Clean Air Package goals. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Ammonia losses from manure pose serious problems for ecosystems and human and animal health. Gas-permeable membranes (GPMs) constitute a promising approach to address the challenge of reducing farm ammonia emissions and to attain the EU’s Clean Air Package goals. In this study, the effect of NH3-N concentration, membrane surface area, acid flux, and type of capture solution on ammonia recovery was investigated for a suspended GPM system through three experiments, in which ammonia was released from a synthetic solution (NH4Cl + NaHCO3 + allylthiourea). The effect of two surface areas (81.7 and 163.4 cm2) was first evaluated using three different synthetic N emitting concentrations (3000, 6000, and 12,000 mg NH3-N∙L−1) and keeping the flow of acidic solution (1N H2SO4) constant (0.8 L·h−1). A direct relationship was found between the amount of NH3 captured and the NH3-N concentration in the N-emitting solution, and between the amount of NH3 captured and the membrane surface area at the two lowest concentrations. Nonetheless, the use of a larger membrane surface barely improved ammonia capture at the highest concentration, pointing to the existence of other limiting factors. Hence, ammonia capture was then studied using different acid flow rates (0.8, 1.3, 1.6, and 2.1 L∙h−1) at a fixed N emitting concentration of 6000 mg NH3-N∙L−1 and a surface area of 122.5 cm2. A higher acid flow rate (0.8–2.1 L∙h−1) resulted in a substantial increase in ammonia absorption, from 165 to 262 mg of NH3∙d−1 over a 14-day period. Taking the parameters that led to the best results in experiments 1 and 2, different types of ammonia capture solutions (H2SO4, water and carbonated water) were finally compared under refrigeration conditions (at 2 °C). A high NH3 recovery (81% in 7 days), comparable to that obtained with the H2SO4 solution (88%), was attained when chilled water was used as the capture solution. The presented results point to the need to carefully optimize the emitter concentration, flow rate, and type of capture solution to maximize the effectiveness of suspended GPM systems, and suggest that chilled water may be used as an alternative to conventional acidic solutions, with associated savings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Processing and Engineering)
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Review
Extracorporeal Support Prognostication—Time to Move the Goal Posts?
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070537 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
Advances in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) technology are associated with expanded indications, increased utilization and improved outcome. There is growing interest in developing ECMO prognostication scores to aid in bedside decision making. To date, the majority of available scores have been limited to [...] Read more.
Advances in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) technology are associated with expanded indications, increased utilization and improved outcome. There is growing interest in developing ECMO prognostication scores to aid in bedside decision making. To date, the majority of available scores have been limited to mostly registry-based data and with mortality as the main outcome of interest. There continues to be a gap in clinically applicable decision support tools to aid in the timing of ECMO cannulation to improve patients’ long-term outcomes. We present a brief review of the commonly available adult and pediatric ECMO prognostication tools, their limitations, and future directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Era)
Article
Anchoring Water Soluble Phosphotungstic Acid by Hybrid Fillers to Construct Three-Dimensional Proton Transport Networks
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070536 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1263
Abstract
Phosphotungstic acid (HPW)-filled composite proton exchange membranes possess high proton conductivity under low relative humidity (RH). However, the leaching of HPW limits their wide application. Herein, we propose a novel approach for anchoring water soluble phosphotungstic acid (HPW) by polydopamine (PDA) coated graphene [...] Read more.
Phosphotungstic acid (HPW)-filled composite proton exchange membranes possess high proton conductivity under low relative humidity (RH). However, the leaching of HPW limits their wide application. Herein, we propose a novel approach for anchoring water soluble phosphotungstic acid (HPW) by polydopamine (PDA) coated graphene oxide and halloysite nanotubes (DGO and DHNTs) in order to construct hybrid three-dimensional proton transport networks in a sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) membrane. The introduction of PDA on the surfaces of the hybrid fillers could provide hydroxyl groups and secondary amine groups to anchor HPW, resulting in the uniform dispersion of HPW in the SPEEK matrix. The SPEEK/DGO/DHNTs/HPW (90/5/5/60) composite membrane exhibited higher water uptake and much better conductivity than the SPEEK membrane at low relative humidity. The best conductivity reached wass 0.062 S cm−1 for the composite membrane, which is quite stable during the water immersion test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes in Electrochemistry Applications)
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Article
Silicon Carbide-Gated Nanofluidic Membrane for Active Control of Electrokinetic Ionic Transport
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070535 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Manipulation of ions and molecules by external control at the nanoscale is highly relevant to biomedical applications. We report a biocompatible electrode-embedded nanofluidic channel membrane designed for electrofluidic applications such as ionic field-effect transistors for implantable drug-delivery systems. Our nanofluidic membrane includes a [...] Read more.
Manipulation of ions and molecules by external control at the nanoscale is highly relevant to biomedical applications. We report a biocompatible electrode-embedded nanofluidic channel membrane designed for electrofluidic applications such as ionic field-effect transistors for implantable drug-delivery systems. Our nanofluidic membrane includes a polysilicon electrode electrically isolated by amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC). The nanochannel gating performance was experimentally investigated based on the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics, leakage current, and power consumption in potassium chloride (KCl) electrolyte. We observed significant modulation of ionic diffusive transport of both positively and negatively charged ions under physical confinement of nanochannels, with low power consumption. To study the physical mechanism associated with the gating performance, we performed electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The results showed that the flat band voltage and density of states were significantly low. In light of its remarkable performance in terms of ionic modulation and low power consumption, this new biocompatible nanofluidic membrane could lead to a new class of silicon implantable nanofluidic systems for tunable drug delivery and personalized medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Analysis and Characterization)
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Article
Fouling Mitigation by Optimizing Flow Rate and Pulsed Electric Field during Bipolar Membrane Electroacidification of Caseinate Solution
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070534 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 924
Abstract
The efficiency of separation processes using ion exchange membranes (IEMs), especially in the food industry, is significantly limited by the fouling phenomenon, which is the process of the attachment and growth of certain species on the surface and inside the membrane. Pulsed electric [...] Read more.
The efficiency of separation processes using ion exchange membranes (IEMs), especially in the food industry, is significantly limited by the fouling phenomenon, which is the process of the attachment and growth of certain species on the surface and inside the membrane. Pulsed electric field (PEF) mode, which consists in the application of constant current density pulses during a fixed time (Ton) alternated with pause lapses (Toff), has a positive antifouling impact. The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effect of three different relatively high flow rates of feed solution (corresponding to Reynolds numbers of 187, 374 and 560) and various pulse–pause ratios of PEF current regime on protein fouling kinetics during electrodialysis with bipolar membranes (EDBM) of a model caseinate solution. Four different pulse/pause regimes (with Ton/Toff ratios equal to 10 s/10 s, 10 s/20 s, 10 s/33 s and 10 s/50 s) during electrodialysis (ED) treatment were evaluated at a current density of 5 mA/cm2. It was found that increasing the pause duration and caseinate solution flow rate had a positive impact on the minimization of protein fouling occurring on the cationic surface of the bipolar membrane (BPM) during the EDBM. Both a long pause and high flow rate contribute to a more effective decrease in the concentration of protons and caseinate anions at the BPM surface: a very good membrane performance was achieved with 50 s of pause duration of PEF and a flow rate corresponding to Re = 374. A further increase in PEF pause duration (above 50 s) or flow rate (above Re = 374) did not lead to a significant decrease in the amount of fouling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on Electro-Membrane Processes)
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Review
Mechanical and Electrical Interaction of Biological Membranes with Nanoparticles and Nanostructured Surfaces
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070533 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
In this review paper, we theoretically explain the origin of electrostatic interactions between lipid bilayers and charged solid surfaces using a statistical mechanics approach, where the orientational degree of freedom of lipid head groups and the orientational ordering of the water dipoles are [...] Read more.
In this review paper, we theoretically explain the origin of electrostatic interactions between lipid bilayers and charged solid surfaces using a statistical mechanics approach, where the orientational degree of freedom of lipid head groups and the orientational ordering of the water dipoles are considered. Within the modified Langevin Poisson–Boltzmann model of an electric double layer, we derived an analytical expression for the osmotic pressure between the planar zwitterionic lipid bilayer and charged solid planar surface. We also show that the electrostatic interaction between the zwitterionic lipid head groups of the proximal leaflet and the negatively charged solid surface is accompanied with a more perpendicular average orientation of the lipid head-groups. We further highlight the important role of the surfaces’ nanostructured topography in their interactions with biological material. As an example of nanostructured surfaces, we describe the synthesis of TiO2 nanotubular and octahedral surfaces by using the electrochemical anodization method and hydrothermal method, respectively. The physical and chemical properties of these nanostructured surfaces are described in order to elucidate the influence of the surface topography and other physical properties on the behavior of human cells adhered to TiO2 nanostructured surfaces. In the last part of the paper, we theoretically explain the interplay of elastic and adhesive contributions to the adsorption of lipid vesicles on the solid surfaces. We show the numerically predicted shapes of adhered lipid vesicles corresponding to the minimum of the membrane free energy to describe the influence of the vesicle size, bending modulus, and adhesion strength on the adhesion of lipid vesicles on solid charged surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrical Properties of Model Lipid Membranes)
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Article
Fabrication of Cementitious Microfiltration Membrane and Its Catalytic Ozonation for the Removal of Small Molecule Organic Pollutants
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070532 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
In this study, a low-cost cementitious microfiltration membrane (CM) with a catalytic ozone oxidation function for the removal of organic pollutants was fabricated by using cementitious and C-10 μm silica powders at a certain silica–cementitious particle ratio (s/c). The effect of the s/c [...] Read more.
In this study, a low-cost cementitious microfiltration membrane (CM) with a catalytic ozone oxidation function for the removal of organic pollutants was fabricated by using cementitious and C-10 μm silica powders at a certain silica–cementitious particle ratio (s/c). The effect of the s/c on the pore size distribution and mechanical strength of the membrane was investigated. The membrane pore size showed a bimodal distribution, and the higher the s/c, the closer the second peak was to the accumulated average particle size of silica. The increase in the s/c led to a decrease in the bending strength of the membrane. The cross-sectional morphology by SEM and crystal structure by XRD of CMs confirmed that a calcium silicate hydrate gel was generated around the silica powder to improve the mechanical strength of the CM. Considering the bending strength and pore size distribution of CMs, s/c = 0.5 was selected as the optimal membrane fabrication condition. The FT-IR results characterizing the surface functional groups of CMs were rich in surface hydroxyl groups with the ability to catalyze ozone oxidation for organic pollutant removal. Six small molecule organic pollutants were selected as model compounds for the efficiency experiments via a CM–ozone coupling process to prove the catalytic property of the CM. The CM has an alkaline buffering effect and can stabilize the initial pH of the solution in the catalytic ozonation process. The reuse experiments of the CM–ozone coupling process demonstrated the broad spectrum of the CM catalytic performance and self-cleaning properties. The results of this study provide the basis and experimental support to expand the practical application of CMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Separation Process in Wastewater and Water Purification)
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Article
Stability of Ar/O2 Plasma-Treated Polypropylene Membranes Applied for Membrane Distillation
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070531 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 907
Abstract
In the present work, Ar/O2 plasma treatment was used as a surface modification tool for polypropylene (PP) membranes. The effect of the plasma conditions on the properties of the modified PP surface has been investigated. For this purpose, the influence of gas [...] Read more.
In the present work, Ar/O2 plasma treatment was used as a surface modification tool for polypropylene (PP) membranes. The effect of the plasma conditions on the properties of the modified PP surface has been investigated. For this purpose, the influence of gas composition and its flow rate, plasma power excitation as well as treatment time on the contact angle of PP membranes has been investigated. The properties of used membranes were determined after various periods of time: immediately after the modification process as well as after one, four and five years of storage. Moreover, the used membranes were evaluated in terms of their performance in long-term MD process. Through detailed studies, we demonstrated that the performed plasma treatment process effectively enhanced the performance of the modified membranes. In addition, it was shown that the surface modification did not affect the degradation of the membrane matrix. Indeed, the used membranes maintained stable process properties throughout the studied period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Surface Modification and Functionalization)
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Article
Iminodiacetic Acid (IDA) Cation-Exchange Nonwoven Membranes for Efficient Capture of Antibodies and Antibody Fragments
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070530 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1110
Abstract
There is strong need to reduce the manufacturing costs and increase the downstream purification efficiency of high-value therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). This paper explores the performance of a weak cation-exchange membrane based on the coupling of IDA to poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT) nonwoven fabrics. [...] Read more.
There is strong need to reduce the manufacturing costs and increase the downstream purification efficiency of high-value therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). This paper explores the performance of a weak cation-exchange membrane based on the coupling of IDA to poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT) nonwoven fabrics. Uniform and conformal layers of poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (GMA) were first grafted to the surface of the nonwovens. Then IDA was coupled to the polyGMA layers under optimized conditions, resulting in membranes with very high permeability and binding capacity. This resulted in IgG dynamic binding capacities at very short residence times (0.1–2.0 min) that are much higher than those achieved by the best cation-exchange resins. Similar results were obtained in the purification of a single-chain (scFv) antibody fragment. As is customary with membrane systems, the dynamic binding capacities did not change significantly over a wide range of residence times. Finally, the excellent separation efficiency and potential reusability of the membrane were confirmed by five consecutive cycles of mAb capture from its cell culture harvest. The present work provides significant evidence that this weak cation-exchange nonwoven fabric platform might be a suitable alternative to packed resin chromatography for low-cost, higher productivity manufacturing of therapeutic mAbs and antibody fragments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Bioprocessing)
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Article
Electron Microscopic Confirmation of Anisotropic Pore Characteristics for ECMO Membranes Theoretically Validating the Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Permeation
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070529 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2031
Abstract
The objective of this study is to clarify the pore structure of ECMO membranes by using our approach and theoretically validate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 permeation. There has not been any direct evidence for SARS-CoV-2 leakage through the membrane in ECMO support for [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to clarify the pore structure of ECMO membranes by using our approach and theoretically validate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 permeation. There has not been any direct evidence for SARS-CoV-2 leakage through the membrane in ECMO support for critically ill COVID-19 patients. The precise pore structure of recent membranes was elucidated by direct microscopic observation for the first time. The three types of membranes, polypropylene, polypropylene coated with thin silicone layer, and polymethylpentene (PMP), have unique pore structures, and the pore structures on the inner and outer surfaces of the membranes are completely different anisotropic structures. From these data, the partition coefficients and intramembrane diffusion coefficients of SARS-CoV-2 were quantified using the membrane transport model. Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 may permeate the membrane wall with the plasma filtration flow or wet lung. The risk of SARS-CoV-2 permeation is completely different due to each anisotropic pore structure. We theoretically demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 is highly likely to permeate the membrane transporting from the patient’s blood to the gas side, and may diffuse from the gas side outlet port of ECMO leading to the extra-circulatory spread of the SARS-CoV-2 (ECMO infection). Development of a new generation of nanoscale membrane confirmation is proposed for next-generation extracorporeal membrane oxygenator and system with long-term durability is envisaged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes in Biomedical Engineering: Assisting Clinical Engineers)
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Article
Glucoregulatory and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Peptide Fractions Separated by Electrodialysis with Ultrafiltration Membranes from Salmon Protein Hydrolysate and Identification of Four Novel Glucoregulatory Peptides
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070528 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 975
Abstract
Natural bioactive peptides are suitable candidates for preventing the development of Type 2 diabetes (T2D), by reducing the various risk factors. The aim of this study was to concentrate glucoregulatory and anti-inflammatory peptides, from salmon by-products, by electrodialysis with ultrafiltration membrane (EDUF), and [...] Read more.
Natural bioactive peptides are suitable candidates for preventing the development of Type 2 diabetes (T2D), by reducing the various risk factors. The aim of this study was to concentrate glucoregulatory and anti-inflammatory peptides, from salmon by-products, by electrodialysis with ultrafiltration membrane (EDUF), and to identify peptides responsible for these bioactivities. Two EDUF configurations (1 and 2) were used to concentrate anionic and cationic peptides, respectively. After EDUF separation, two fractions demonstrated interesting properties: the initial fraction of the EDUF configuration 1 and the final fraction of the EDUF configuration 2 both showed biological activities to (1) increase glucose uptake in L6 muscle cells in insulin condition at 1 ng/mL (by 12% and 21%, respectively), (2) decrease hepatic glucose production in hepatic cells at 1 ng/mL in basal (17% and 16%, respectively), and insulin (25% and 34%, respectively) conditions, and (3) decrease LPS-induced inflammation in macrophages at 1 g/mL (45% and 30%, respectively). More impressive, the initial fraction of the EDUF configuration 1 (45% reduction) showed the same effect as the phenformin at 10 μM (40%), a drug used to treat T2D. Thirteen peptides were identified, chemically synthesized, and tested in-vitro for these three bioactivities. Thus, four new bioactive peptides were identified: IPVE increased glucose uptake by muscle cells, IVDI and IEGTL decreased hepatic glucose production (HGP) of insulin, whereas VAPEEHPTL decreased HGP under both basal condition and in the presence of insulin. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that (1) bioactive peptide fractions generated after separation by EDUF were demonstrated to be bioactive on three different criteria; all involved in the T2D, and (2) potential sequences involved in the improvement of glucose uptake and/or in the regulation of HGP were identified from a salmon protein hydrolysate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Membrane Science and Technology in North America)
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Article
Simulation on Pore Formation from Polymer Solution at Surface in Contact with Solid Substrate via Thermally Induced Phase Separation
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070527 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1150
Abstract
The formation of porous structures from polymer solutions at the surface in contact with various solid surfaces via a thermally-induced phase separation (TIPS) process is investigated. The pore formation process at the bulk and the surface of the poly(methyl methacrylate)/cyclohexanol solution is simulated [...] Read more.
The formation of porous structures from polymer solutions at the surface in contact with various solid surfaces via a thermally-induced phase separation (TIPS) process is investigated. The pore formation process at the bulk and the surface of the poly(methyl methacrylate)/cyclohexanol solution is simulated with a model based on the phase field method. When the compatibilities between the polymer-rich phase formed by the phase separation and the solid surface are high or low, surface porosity decreases. In contrast, for the solid surface having similar compatibilities with the polymer and solvent, high surface porosity is achieved. This indicates that the compatibility between the solid surface and polymer solution is important, and that optimal compatibility results in high surface porosity. The knowledge obtained in this work is useful to design the coagulation bath component in the membrane preparation process by TIPS for achieving high surface porosity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Membrane Science and Technology in Japan 2021, 2022)
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Article
CM-Dil Staining and SEC of Plasma as an Approach to Increase Sensitivity of Extracellular Nanovesicles Quantification by Bead-Assisted Flow Cytometry
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070526 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1433
Abstract
The quantification of the specific disease-associated populations of circulating extracellular membrane nanovesicles (ENVs) has opened up new opportunities for liquid biopsy in cancer and other chronic diseases. However, the sensitivity of such methods is mediated by an optimal combination of the isolation and [...] Read more.
The quantification of the specific disease-associated populations of circulating extracellular membrane nanovesicles (ENVs) has opened up new opportunities for liquid biopsy in cancer and other chronic diseases. However, the sensitivity of such methods is mediated by an optimal combination of the isolation and labeling approaches, and is not yet sufficient for routine clinical application. The presented study aimed to develop, characterize, and explore a new approach to non-specific ENV staining, followed by size-exclusive chromatography (SEC), which allows us to increase the sensitivity of bead-assisted flow cytometry. Plasma from healthy donors was purified from large components, stained with lipophilic CM-Dil dye, and fractionated by means of SEC. The obtained fractions were analyzed in terms of particle size and concentration using NTA, as well as vesicular markers and plasma protein content via dot-blotting. We characterized the process of CM-Dil-stained plasma fractionation in detail and indicated the fractions with optimal characteristics. Finally, we explored the sensitivity of on-bead flow cytometry for the analysis of specific populations of plasma ENVs and demonstrated the advantages and limitations of the proposed technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biological Membrane Functions)
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Article
Exergy Analysis of a Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD) System Based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070525 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Understanding the energy efficiency of direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) is important for the widespread application and practical implementation of the process. This study analyzed the available energy, known as exergy, in a DCMD system using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A CFD model [...] Read more.
Understanding the energy efficiency of direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) is important for the widespread application and practical implementation of the process. This study analyzed the available energy, known as exergy, in a DCMD system using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A CFD model was developed to investigate the hydrodynamic and thermal conditions in a DCMD module. After the CFD model was verified, it was used to calculate the temperature polarization coefficient (TPC) and exergy destruction magnitudes under various operating conditions. The results revealed that slight decreases and increases in the TPC occurred with distance from the inlet in the module. The TPC was found to increase as the feed temperature was reduced and the feed and permeate flow rates were increased. The exergy destruction phenomenon was more significant under higher feed temperatures and higher flux conditions. Although the most significant exergy destruction in the permeate occurred near the feed inlet, the effect became less influential closer to the feed outlet. An analysis of exergy flows revealed that the efficiency loss in the permeate side corresponded to 32.9–45.3% of total exergy destruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Modelling in Membrane Processes)
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Article
Catalytic Adsorptive Stripping Voltammetric Determination of Germanium Employing the Oxidizing Properties of V(IV)-HEDTA Complex and Bismuth-Modified Carbon-Based Electrodes
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070524 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
An efficient procedure that may be used to determine germanium traces and combines the advantages of catalytic adsorptive stripping voltammetry (CAdSV) with the convenience of screen-printed electrodes was developed. To induce the CAdSV response of the germanium(IV)-catechol complex, the vanadium(IV)-HEDTA compound was employed [...] Read more.
An efficient procedure that may be used to determine germanium traces and combines the advantages of catalytic adsorptive stripping voltammetry (CAdSV) with the convenience of screen-printed electrodes was developed. To induce the CAdSV response of the germanium(IV)-catechol complex, the vanadium(IV)-HEDTA compound was employed in combination with various bismuth-modified homogeneous (glassy carbon, gold coated with a bismuth layer via physical vapor deposition) and heterogeneous (screen-printed carbon, mesoporous carbon, graphene and reduced graphene oxide, polymer-encapsuled carbon fiber) electrodes. This solution had never before been implemented for this purpose. To achieve the most favorable performance of the working electrode, the parameters of bismuth deposition were optimized using a central composite design methodology. SEM imaging and contact angle measurements confirmed the long-term stability and high chemical resistance of the electrodes against the oxidizing action of V(IV)-HEDTA. Under optimized conditions, the method made it possible to detect nanomolar concentrations of germanium with favorable detection limits, high sensitivity, and a wide linear range of 5–90 nM of Ge(IV). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrochemical Sensors Based on Nanomaterial Layers)
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Article
Synthesis of ZIF-11 Membranes: The Influence of Preparation Technique and Support Type
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070523 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1244
Abstract
Due to its structural features, ZIF-11 is one of the most interesting materials for gas separation applications. Herein, we report a systematic study on the synthesis of ZIF-11 as a supported membrane. For this, we adapted optimized conditions for the ZIF-11 powder synthesis, [...] Read more.
Due to its structural features, ZIF-11 is one of the most interesting materials for gas separation applications. Herein, we report a systematic study on the synthesis of ZIF-11 as a supported membrane. For this, we adapted optimized conditions for the ZIF-11 powder synthesis, identified in our previous works, to form ZIF layers on symmetric and asymmetric stainless-steel and asymmetric α-Al2O3 supports. Different techniques were investigated for the challenging layer formation, namely, in situ crystallization (ISC), multiple in situ crystallization (MISC), and the seeding and secondary growth (SSG) method. It was possible to deposit ZIF-11 on different supports by ISC and MISC, although it was difficult to obtain complete layers. SSG, in turn, was more effective in forming dense and well-intergrown ZIF-11 layers. This agrees well with the generally accepted fact that seeding considerably facilitates layer formation. Systematic studies of both individual steps of SSG (seeding and secondary growth) led to a basic understanding of layer formation of ZIF-11 on the different supports. The best membranes prepared by rub seeding and secondary growth achieved Knudsen selectivity. Improved gas separation performance is expected if the formation of defects can be avoided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in MOF-Based Membranes)
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Article
Comparison of Different Methods for Spongin-like Collagen Extraction from Marine Sponges (Chondrilla caribensis and Aplysina fulva): Physicochemical Properties and In Vitro Biological Analysis
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070522 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
This study aimed to compare different protocols (Protocol 1: P1; Protocol 2: P2; Protocol 3: P3; Protocol 4: P4) for the extraction of spongin-like collagen (SC) from marine sponges. The SEM micrographs demonstrated a fibrillar structure for the extracts from Chondrilla caribensis and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare different protocols (Protocol 1: P1; Protocol 2: P2; Protocol 3: P3; Protocol 4: P4) for the extraction of spongin-like collagen (SC) from marine sponges. The SEM micrographs demonstrated a fibrillar structure for the extracts from Chondrilla caribensis and the nodular/particulate aggregates for Aplysina fulva. FTIR showed for all samples peaks similar to collagen for both species. For C. caribensis, the extracts obtained using P2, P3, and P4 protocols presented higher values of extraction yield, TPQ, and GAGs. P2 and P4 showed higher values of SC concentration and for antioxidant analysis. For A. fulva, P2, P3, and P4 provided a higher extraction yield besides an increase in the antioxidant assay. For both species, no difference was observed for Col quantification and TPQ analysis; also, higher values of GAGs were found using P2 and P4. Fibroblast proliferation observed for C. caribensis was lower for P1 on day 1 and for P2 and P3 on day 3 (for 50%) compared to the control group. There was a significant reduction in fibroblast cell proliferation for all A. fulva extracts evaluated. It can be concluded that protocols P2 and P4 were more efficient for extracting SC from C. caribensis. Full article
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Article
Numerical Simulations of Calcium Sulphate Scaling in Full-Scale Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis Pressure Vessels Using Computational Fluid Dynamics
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070521 - 11 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1350
Abstract
Coal mine waters often have high salinity, hardness and alkalinity. The treatment of coal mine water requires careful management of multi-stage reverse osmosis (RO) systems to achieve effective recovery of water for domestic reuse, as well as zero liquid discharge to minimise the [...] Read more.
Coal mine waters often have high salinity, hardness and alkalinity. The treatment of coal mine water requires careful management of multi-stage reverse osmosis (RO) systems to achieve effective recovery of water for domestic reuse, as well as zero liquid discharge to minimise the impact to the local environment. Design of RO systems for coal mine water treatment has been limited to the use of commercial design packages provided by membrane manufacturers, which do not provide insights into the impact of operating parameters such as feedwater salinity, concentrations of sparingly soluble salts, feed pressure and their interactions with different RO modules on the fouling/scaling potential of RO membranes. This also restricts the use of novel RO products and the delivery of an optimum design based on real needs. In this work, a mathematical model was developed to simulate a standard brackish water RO pressure vessel consisting six full-size RO membrane elements, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The model can be used to predict the permeate flowrate, water recovery levels, as well as the spatial information of the accumulation and scaling potential of sparingly soluble salts on the membrane surface. The results obtained from the model showed good agreement with the results obtained from the commercial RO design software WAVE. The CFD model was then used to predict the scaling threshold on various positions of a full-scale RO element, at different operating conditions, using parametric simulations based on Central Composite Designs. Outputs from this work not only provide insights into the microscopic flow characteristics of multiple full-scale elements in the RO pressure vessel, but also predicts the position where scaling would occur, at different feed conditions, for any RO products. Full article
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Article
Advanced Thermochromic Ink System for Medical Blood Simulation
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070520 - 11 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1077
Abstract
Simulators for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) have problems of bulky devices and low-fidelity methodologies. Hence, ongoing efforts for optimizing modern solutions focus on minimizing expenses and blending training with the intensive care unit. This is particularly evident following the coronavirus pandemic, where economic [...] Read more.
Simulators for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) have problems of bulky devices and low-fidelity methodologies. Hence, ongoing efforts for optimizing modern solutions focus on minimizing expenses and blending training with the intensive care unit. This is particularly evident following the coronavirus pandemic, where economic resources have been extensively cut. In this paper, as a part of an ECMO simulator for training management, an advance thermochromic ink system for medical blood simulation is presented. The system was developed and enhanced as a prototype with successful and reversible transitions between dark and bright red blood color to simulate blood oxygenation and deoxygenation in ECMO training sessions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Era)
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Review
A Prospective Concept on the Fabrication of Blend PES/PEG/DMF/NMP Mixed Matrix Membranes with Functionalised Carbon Nanotubes for CO2/N2 Separation
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070519 - 10 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1362
Abstract
With an ever-increasing global population, the combustion of fossil fuels has risen immensely to meet the demand for electricity, resulting in significant increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In recent years, CO2 separation technology, such as membrane technology, has become [...] Read more.
With an ever-increasing global population, the combustion of fossil fuels has risen immensely to meet the demand for electricity, resulting in significant increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In recent years, CO2 separation technology, such as membrane technology, has become highly desirable. Fabricated mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) have the most desirable gas separation performances, as these membranes have the ability to overcome the trade-off limitations. In this paper, blended MMMs are reviewed along with two polymers, namely polyether sulfone (PES) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Both polymers can efficiently separate CO2 because of their chemical properties. In addition, blended N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and dimethylformamide (DMF) solvents were also reviewed to understand the impact of blended MMMs’ morphology on separation of CO2. However, the fabricated MMMs had challenges, such as filler agglomeration and void formation. To combat this, functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNTs-F) fillers were utilised to aid gas separation performance and polymer compatibility issues. Additionally, a summary of the different fabrication techniques was identified to further optimise the fabrication methodology. Thus, a blended MMM fabricated using PES, PEG, NMP, DMF and MWCNTs-F is believed to improve CO2/nitrogen separation. Full article
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