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Membranes, Volume 12, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 100 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This article reports on the use of forward osmosis with polyelectrolyte draw solutions to recover water from bioreactor mixed liquors. The work was motivated by the need for regenerative water purification technologies to enable long-duration space missions. Direct- and cross-flow filtration experiments were performed to measure permeate flux and reverse solute flux selectivity, assess membrane fouling, and establish feasibility for long-term operation. The study findings begin to address key challenges for implementing osmotic membrane bioreactors in environmental control and life support systems for space applications. By utilizing a polyelectrolyte draw solute with high reverse solute flux selectivity, it is possible to overcome the need for draw solute replenishment. This is a major step toward sustainable operation in long-duration space missions. View this paper
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Article
Phosphorus Recovery by Adsorption from the Membrane Permeate of an Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Digesting Waste-Activated Sludge
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010099 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 462
Abstract
The recovery of phosphorus (P) from waste activated sludge (WAS) is a promising approach for sustainable resource management. During the anaerobic digestion of WAS, orthophosphate is released, and this P species is favorable for adsorption recovery. In the present study, an anerobic membrane [...] Read more.
The recovery of phosphorus (P) from waste activated sludge (WAS) is a promising approach for sustainable resource management. During the anaerobic digestion of WAS, orthophosphate is released, and this P species is favorable for adsorption recovery. In the present study, an anerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) with a P-adsorption column was developed to generate biogas from WAS and to recover P from membrane permeate simultaneously. The effects of the hydraulic retention time (HRT) and solid retention time (SRT) of the AnMBR on P solubilization were investigated. As a result, the maximum P solubilization was 21% when the HRT and SRT were 45 days and 100 days, respectively. Orthophosphate in the membrane permeate was adsorbed and recovered using a mesoporous material called zirconium sulfate–surfactant micelle mesostructure (ZS) in the column. The adsorbed P could be desorbed from the ZS with a NaOH solution, and P was recovered as a concentrated solution by a factor of 25. When the HRT was 19 days, the biogas yield and biogas production rate were 0.26 L/g-VSinput and 0.123 L/L/d, respectively. The average methane content in the biogas was 80%. The developed membrane-based process may be effective for resource recovery from WAS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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Article
Assessment of the Potential of Using Nanofiltration Polymeric and Ceramic Membranes to Treat Refinery Spent Caustic Effluents
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010098 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 377
Abstract
Spent caustic effluents are very challenging due to their very hazardous nature in terms of toxicity as well as their extreme pH (approximately 12–14). Spent caustic has presented a challenge for wastewater treatment in refineries, due to its composition rich in mercaptans, sulfides [...] Read more.
Spent caustic effluents are very challenging due to their very hazardous nature in terms of toxicity as well as their extreme pH (approximately 12–14). Spent caustic has presented a challenge for wastewater treatment in refineries, due to its composition rich in mercaptans, sulfides and other aromatic compounds. To address such problems, membrane filtration was studied using real effluents from Sines Refinery, in Portugal. The present study attempts to assess the potential for spent caustic treatment with nanofiltration (NF) polymeric and ceramic membranes, assessing membrane life expectancy. For that, membrane aging studies in static mode were performed with the polymeric membrane before attempting NF treatment (dynamic studies). A ceramic membrane was also tested for the first time with this type of effluents, though only in dynamic mode. Although the polymeric membrane performance was very good and in accordance with previous studies, its lifespan was very reduced after 6 weeks of contact with spent caustic, compromising its use in an industrial unit. Contrarily to expectations, the ceramic membrane tested was not chemically more resistant than the polymeric one upon direct contact with spent caustic (loss of retention capacity in less than 1 h in contact with the spent caustic). The results obtained suggest that a pH of 13.9 is very aggressive, even for ceramic membranes. Full article
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Article
Numerical Simulation and Optimization of 4-Component LDG Separation in the Steelmaking Industry Using Polysulfone Hollow Fiber Membranes
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010097 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 323
Abstract
A general finite element model and a new solution method were developed to simulate the permeances of Lintz Donawiz converter gas (LDG) components and the performance of a polysulfone membrane separation unit. The permeances at eight bars of CO, N2, and [...] Read more.
A general finite element model and a new solution method were developed to simulate the permeances of Lintz Donawiz converter gas (LDG) components and the performance of a polysulfone membrane separation unit. The permeances at eight bars of CO, N2, and H2 in LDG simulated using the developed model equations employing the experimental mixed gas data were obtained by controlling the finite element numbers and comparing them with pure gas permeation data. At the optimal finite element numbers (s = 15, n = 1), the gas permeances under the mixed-gas condition were 6.3% (CO), 3.9% (N2), and 7.2% (H2) larger than those of the pure gases, On the other hand, the mixed-gas permeance of CO2 was 4.5% smaller than that of pure gas. These differences were attributed to the plasticization phenomenon of the polysulfone membrane used by CO2. The newly adopted solution method for the stiff nonlinear model functions enabled the simulation of the performance (in terms of gas recovery, concentration, and flow rate) of the first-stage membrane within two seconds under most gas flow conditions. The performance of a first-stage membrane unit separating LDG could be predicted by the developed model with a small error of <2.1%. These model and solution methods could be utilized effectively for simulating gas permeances of the membrane that is plasticized severely by the permeating gas and the separation performance of two- or multi-stage membrane processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Membrane Research and Development in Korea)
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Article
Low-Temperature Hydrophilic Pervaporation of Lactic Acid Esterification Reaction Media
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010096 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Esterification reactions show a limited conversion due to the presence of water, which favors the opposite reaction. The removal of water from the reaction mixture increases the production of the ester. Pervaporation is an effective dehydration technique, usually applied to binary mixtures. The [...] Read more.
Esterification reactions show a limited conversion due to the presence of water, which favors the opposite reaction. The removal of water from the reaction mixture increases the production of the ester. Pervaporation is an effective dehydration technique, usually applied to binary mixtures. The effect on pervaporation of a reactive multicomponent system involving water, ethanol, ethyl lactate and lactic acid with high acid concentration (13.5 wt. %) at relatively low temperatures (40–80 °C) was studied. Three hydrophilic membranes mainly fabricated for dehydration purposes from Sulzer Chemtech were used, i.e., PERVAP™ 3100, PERVAP™ 2216 and PERVAP™ 1131. The last one revealed as the most suitable for the application and it was further characterized with binary and ternary solutions. The membrane showed high affinity for the lactic acid. The acid permeation played a key role in the water/ethanol and water/ethyl lactate selectivity. Lactic acid permeates and crystalizes in the permeate side of the membrane at very low water concentration (below 2 wt. %), causing a drop in flux and membrane selectivity. Ethyl lactate is responsible of the loss of integrity of the membranes. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Influencing Factors on the Gas Separation Performance of Carbon Molecular Sieve Membrane Using Machine Learning Technique
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010100 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 570
Abstract
Gas separation performance of the carbon molecular sieve (CMS) membrane is influenced by multiple factors including the microstructural characteristics of carbon and gas properties. In this work, the support vector regression (SVR) method as a machine learning technique was applied to the correlation [...] Read more.
Gas separation performance of the carbon molecular sieve (CMS) membrane is influenced by multiple factors including the microstructural characteristics of carbon and gas properties. In this work, the support vector regression (SVR) method as a machine learning technique was applied to the correlation between the gas separation performance, the multiple membrane structure, and gas characteristic factors of the self-manufactured CMS membrane. A simple quantitative index based on the Robeson’s upper bound line, which indicated the gas permeability and selectivity simultaneously, was proposed to measure the gas separation performance of CMS membrane. Based on the calculation results, the inferred key factors affecting the gas permeability of CMS membrane were the fractional free volume (FFV) of the precursor, the average interlayer spacing of graphite-like carbon sheet, and the final carbonization temperature. Moreover, the most influential factors for the gas separation performance were supposed to be the two structural factors of precursor influencing the porosity of CMS membrane, the carbon residue and the FFV, and the ratio of the gas kinetic diameters. The results would be helpful to the structural optimization and the separation performance improvement of CMS membrane. Full article
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Article
Synthesis of Porous BPPO-Based Anion Exchange Membranes for Acid Recovery via Diffusion Dialysis
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010095 - 16 Jan 2022
Viewed by 424
Abstract
Diffusion dialysis (DD) is an anion exchange membrane-based functional separation process used for acid recovery. TMA (trimethylamine) and BPPO (brominated poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) were utilized in this manuscript to formulate AEMs (anion exchange membranes) for DD (diffusion dialysis) using the phase-inversion technique. FTIR (Fourier [...] Read more.
Diffusion dialysis (DD) is an anion exchange membrane-based functional separation process used for acid recovery. TMA (trimethylamine) and BPPO (brominated poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) were utilized in this manuscript to formulate AEMs (anion exchange membranes) for DD (diffusion dialysis) using the phase-inversion technique. FTIR (Fourier transfer infrared) analysis, proton NMR spectroscopy, morphology, IEC (ion exchange capacity), LER (linear expansion ratio), CR (fixed group concentration), WR (water uptake/adsorption), water contact angle, chemical, and thermal stability, were all used to evaluate the prepared membranes. The effect of TMA content within the membrane matrix on acid recovery was also briefly discussed. It was reported that porous AEMs have a WR of 149.6% to 233.8%, IEC (ion exchange capacity) of 0.71 to 1.43 mmol/g, CR (fixed group concentration) that ranged from 0.0046 mol/L to 0.0056 mol/L, LER of 3.88% to 9.23%, and a water contact angle of 33.10° to 78.58°. The UH (acid dialysis coefficients) for designed porous membranes were found to be 0.0043 to 0.012 m/h, with separation factors (S) ranging from 13.14 to 32.87 at the temperature of 25 °C. These observations are comparable to those found in the DF-120B commercial membrane with UH of 0.004 m/h and S of 24.3 m/h at the same temperature (25 °C). This porous membranes proposed in this paper are excellent choices for acid recovery through the diffusion dialysis process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electro-Driven Membranes)
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Communication
Real-Time Monitoring of HT-PEMFC
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010094 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 372
Abstract
During the electrochemical reaction of a high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC), (in this paper HT-PEMFC means operating in the range of 120 to 200 °C) the inhomogeneity of temperature, flow rate, and pressure in the interior is likely to cause [...] Read more.
During the electrochemical reaction of a high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC), (in this paper HT-PEMFC means operating in the range of 120 to 200 °C) the inhomogeneity of temperature, flow rate, and pressure in the interior is likely to cause the reduction of ion conductivity or thermal stability weight loss of proton exchange membrane materials, and it is additionally likely to cause uneven fuel distribution, thereby affecting the working performance and service life of the HT-PEMFC. This study used micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology to develop a flexible three-in-one microsensor which is resistant to high temperature electrochemical environments; we selected appropriate materials and process parameters to protect the microsensor from failure or damage under long-term tests. The proposed method can monitor the local temperature, flow rate, and pressure distribution in HT-PEMFC in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes in Electrochemistry Applications)
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Article
Tailoring the Stabilization and Pyrolysis Processes of Carbon Molecular Sieve Membrane Derived from Polyacrylonitrile for Ethylene/Ethane Separation
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010093 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 415
Abstract
For ethylene/ethane separation, a CMS (carbon molecular sieve) membrane was developed with a PAN (polyacrylonitrile) polymer precursor on an alumina support. To provide an excellent thermal property to PAN precursor prior to the pyrolysis, the stabilization as a pre-treatment process was carried out. [...] Read more.
For ethylene/ethane separation, a CMS (carbon molecular sieve) membrane was developed with a PAN (polyacrylonitrile) polymer precursor on an alumina support. To provide an excellent thermal property to PAN precursor prior to the pyrolysis, the stabilization as a pre-treatment process was carried out. Tuning the stabilization condition was very important to successfully preparing the CMS membrane derived from the PAN precursor. The stabilization and pyrolysis processes for the PAN precursor were finely tuned, and optimized in terms of stabilization temperature and time, as well as pyrolysis temperature, heating rate, and soaking time. The PAN stabilized at >250 °C showed improved thermal stability and carbon yield. The CMS membrane derived from stabilized PAN showed reasonable separation performance for ethylene permeance (0.71 GPU) and ethylene/ethane selectivity (7.62), respectively. Increasing the pyrolysis temperature and soaking time gave rise to an increase in the gas permeance, and a reduction in the membrane selectivity. This trend was opposite to that for the CMS membranes derived from other polymer precursors. The optimized separation performance (ethylene permeance of 2.97 GPU and ethylene/ethane selectivity of 7.25) could be achieved at the pyrolysis temperature of 650 °C with a soaking time of 1 h. The separation performance of the CMS membrane derived from the PAN precursor was comparable to that of other polymer precursors, and surpassed them regarding the upper bound trade off. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Membrane Research and Development in Korea)
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Article
Optimal Water Backwashing Condition in Combined Water Treatment of Alumina Microfiltration and PP Beads
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010092 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 315
Abstract
Membrane fouling is a dominant limit of the membrane separation process. In this research, the optimal water backwashing to solve the membrane fouling problem was investigated in the combined water treatment process of alumina MF and pure polypropylene (PP) beads. Additionally, the influence [...] Read more.
Membrane fouling is a dominant limit of the membrane separation process. In this research, the optimal water backwashing to solve the membrane fouling problem was investigated in the combined water treatment process of alumina MF and pure polypropylene (PP) beads. Additionally, the influence of membrane shape (tubular or seven channel) was examined, depending on the water backwashing period. The optimal backwashing time (BT) could be 20 s in the combined water treatment process, because of the highest total treated volume (VT) in our BT 6–30 s conditions. The optimal backwashing period (BP) could be 6 min, because of the minimum membrane fouling and the maximum VT in the combined process of tubular alumina MF and PP beads. The resistance of reversible membrane fouling (Rrf) showed a major resistance of total membrane fouling, and that of irreversible membrane fouling (Rif) was a minor one, in the combined process using tubular or seven channel MF. The Rif showed a decreasing trend obviously, as decreasing BT from NBW to 2 min for seven channel MF. It means that the more frequent water backwashing could be more effective to control the membrane fouling, especially irreversible fouling, for seven channel membranes than tubular membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mixed-Matrix Membranes and Polymeric Membranes)
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Article
New Membrane-Forming Aromatic Co-Poly(amide-imide)s: Influence of the Chemical Structure on the Morphological, Thermal and Transport Properties
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010091 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Polymer film membranes are used to solve specific separation problems that dictate structural requirements. Structural and morphological parameters of film membranes based on glassy polyheteroarylenes can be controlled in the process of preparation from solutions that opens up prospects for obtaining structured membranes [...] Read more.
Polymer film membranes are used to solve specific separation problems that dictate structural requirements. Structural and morphological parameters of film membranes based on glassy polyheteroarylenes can be controlled in the process of preparation from solutions that opens up prospects for obtaining structured membranes required for targeted separation. In the case of aromatic poly(amide-imide)s, the possibility of controlling film formation and structure virtually has not been studied. In the present work, a series of homologous co-poly(amide-imide)s differing in the number of repeating units with carboxyl-substituted aromatic fragments was synthesized by polycondensation. Comparative analysis of the processes of formation of membranes with different morphologies based on these polymers under equal conditions was performed. New information was obtained about the influence of the amounts of carboxyl groups and the residual solvent on structural properties of asymmetric membranes. The influence of these factors on transport properties of dense membranes under pervaporation conditions was studied. It was demonstrated that in the case of carboxyl-containing poly(amide-imide)s, the domains formed during film preparation had a significant effect on membrane properties. Full article
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Article
On the Potential of a Poly(vinylidenefluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) Polymer Inclusion Membrane Containing Aliquat® 336 and Dibutyl Phthalate for V(V) Extraction from Sulfate Solutions
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010090 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 358
Abstract
A polymer inclusion membrane (PIM) composed of 50 wt% base polymer poly(vinylidenefluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene), 40 wt% extractant Aliquat® 336, and 10 wt% dibutyl phthalate as plasticizer/modifier provided the efficient extraction of vanadium(V) (initial concentration 50 mg L−1) from 0.1 M [...] Read more.
A polymer inclusion membrane (PIM) composed of 50 wt% base polymer poly(vinylidenefluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene), 40 wt% extractant Aliquat® 336, and 10 wt% dibutyl phthalate as plasticizer/modifier provided the efficient extraction of vanadium(V) (initial concentration 50 mg L−1) from 0.1 M sulfate solutions (pH 2.5). The average mass and thickness of the PIMs (diameter 3.5 cm) were 0.057 g and 46 μm, respectively. It was suggested that V(V) was extracted as VO2SO4 via an anion exchange mechanism. The maximum PIM capacity was estimated to be ~56 mg of V(V)/g for the PIM. Quantitative back-extraction was achieved with a 50 mL solution of 6 M H2SO4/1 v/v% of H2O2. It was assumed that the back-extraction process involved the oxidation of VO2+ to VO(O2)+ by H2O2. The newly developed PIM, with the optimized composition mentioned above, exhibited an excellent selectivity for V(V) in the presence of metallic species present in digests of spent alumina hydrodesulfurization catalysts. Co-extraction of Mo(VI) with V(V) was eliminated by its selective extraction at pH 1.1. Characterization of the optimized PIM was performed by contact angle measurements, atomic-force microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis/derivatives thermogravimetric analysis and stress–strain measurements. Replacement of dibutyl phthalate with 2-nitrophenyloctyl ether improved the stability of the studied PIMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Polymeric Membranes: Science, Materials and Applications)
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Article
Hydrophobic Mismatch Controls the Mode of Membrane-Mediated Interactions of Transmembrane Peptides
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010089 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 312
Abstract
Various cellular processes require the concerted cooperative action of proteins. The possibility for such synchronization implies the occurrence of specific long-range interactions between the involved protein participants. Bilayer lipid membranes can mediate protein–protein interactions via relatively long-range elastic deformations induced by the incorporated [...] Read more.
Various cellular processes require the concerted cooperative action of proteins. The possibility for such synchronization implies the occurrence of specific long-range interactions between the involved protein participants. Bilayer lipid membranes can mediate protein–protein interactions via relatively long-range elastic deformations induced by the incorporated proteins. We considered the interactions between transmembrane peptides mediated by elastic deformations using the framework of the theory of elasticity of lipid membranes. An effective peptide shape was assumed to be cylindrical, hourglass-like, or barrel-like. The interaction potentials were obtained for membranes of different thicknesses and elastic rigidities. Cylindrically shaped peptides manifest almost neutral average interactions—they attract each other at short distances and repel at large ones, independently of membrane thickness or rigidity. The hourglass-like peptides repel each other in thin bilayers and strongly attract each other in thicker bilayers. On the contrary, the barrel-like peptides repel each other in thick bilayers and attract each other in thinner membranes. These results potentially provide possible mechanisms of control for the mode of protein–protein interactions in membrane domains with different bilayer thicknesses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Regulation of Protein Function)
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Communication
Bio-Membrane Internalization Mechanisms of Arginine-Rich Cell-Penetrating Peptides in Various Species
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010088 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 529
Abstract
Recently, membrane-active peptides or proteins that include antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), cytolytic proteins, and cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have attracted attention due to their potential applications in the biomedical field. Among them, CPPs have been regarded as a potent drug/molecules delivery system. Various cargoes, such [...] Read more.
Recently, membrane-active peptides or proteins that include antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), cytolytic proteins, and cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have attracted attention due to their potential applications in the biomedical field. Among them, CPPs have been regarded as a potent drug/molecules delivery system. Various cargoes, such as DNAs, RNAs, bioactive proteins/peptides, nanoparticles and drugs, can be carried by CPPs and delivered into cells in either covalent or noncovalent manners. Here, we focused on four arginine-rich CPPs and reviewed the mechanisms that these CPPs used for intracellular uptake across cellular plasma membranes. The varying transduction efficiencies of them alone or with cargoes were discussed, and the membrane permeability was also expounded for CPP/cargoes delivery in various species. Direct membrane translocation (penetration) and endocytosis are two principal mechanisms for arginine-rich CPPs mediated cargo delivery. Furthermore, the amino acid sequence is the primary key factor that determines the cellular internalization mechanism. Importantly, the non-cytotoxic nature and the wide applicability make CPPs a trending tool for cellular delivery. Full article
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Article
The Optimization of Dispersion and Application Techniques for Nanocarbon-Doped Mixed Matrix Gas Separation Membranes
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010087 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 451
Abstract
In this work, supported cellulose acetate (CA) mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) were prepared and studied concerning their gas separation behaviors. The dispersion of carbon nanotube fillers were studied as a factor of polymer and filler concentrations using the mixing methods of the rotor–stator [...] Read more.
In this work, supported cellulose acetate (CA) mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) were prepared and studied concerning their gas separation behaviors. The dispersion of carbon nanotube fillers were studied as a factor of polymer and filler concentrations using the mixing methods of the rotor–stator system (RS) and the three-roll-mill system (TRM). Compared to the dispersion quality achieved by RS, samples prepared using the TRM seem to have slightly bigger, but fewer and more homogenously distributed, agglomerates. The green γ-butyrolactone (GBL) was chosen as a polyimide (PI) polymer-solvent, whereas diacetone alcohol (DAA) was used for preparing the CA solutions. The coating of the thin CA separation layer was applied using a spin coater. For coating on the PP carriers, a short parameter study was conducted regarding the plasma treatment to affect the wettability, the coating speed, and the volume of dispersion that was applied to the carrier. As predicted by the parameter study, the amount of dispersion that remained on the carriers decreased with an increasing rotational speed during the spin coating process. The dry separation layer thickness was varied between about 1.4 and 4.7 μm. Electrically conductive additives in a non-conductive matrix showed a steeply increasing electrical conductivity after passing the so-called percolation threshold. This was used to evaluate the agglomeration behavior in suspension and in the applied layer. Gas permeation tests were performed using a constant volume apparatus at feed pressures of 5, 10, and 15 bar. The highest calculated CO2/N2 selectivity (ideal), 21, was achieved for the CA membrane and corresponded to a CO2 permeability of 49.6 Barrer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mixed-Matrix Membranes and Polymeric Membranes)
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Article
Cellulose Membranes in the Treatment of Spent Deep Eutectic Solvent Used in the Recovery of Lignin from Lignocellulosic Biomass
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010086 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Ultrafiltration was employed in the purification of spent Deep Eutectic Solvent (DES, a mixture of choline chloride and lactic acid, 1:10, respectively) used in the extraction of lignin from lignocellulosic biomass. The aim of this was to recover different lignin fractions and to [...] Read more.
Ultrafiltration was employed in the purification of spent Deep Eutectic Solvent (DES, a mixture of choline chloride and lactic acid, 1:10, respectively) used in the extraction of lignin from lignocellulosic biomass. The aim of this was to recover different lignin fractions and to purify spent solvent. The results revealed that the commercial regenerated cellulose membranes—RC70PP and Ultracel 5 kDa UF membranes—could be used in the treatment of the spent DES. The addition of cosolvent (ethanol) to the spent DES decreased solvent’s viscosity, which enabled filtration. With two-pass ultrafiltration process with 10 kDa and 5 kDa membranes about 95% of the dissolved polymeric compounds (lignin and hemicelluloses) were removed from the spent DES. The utilized membranes also showed the capability to fractionate polymeric compounds into two fractions—above and under 10,000 Da. Moreover, the 10 kDa cellulose-based membrane showed good stability during a continuous period of three weeks exposure to the solution of DES and ethanol. Its pure water permeability decreased only by 3%. The results presented here demonstrate the possibility to utilize cellulose membranes in the treatment of spent DES to purify the solvent and recover the interesting compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Euromembrane 2021)
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Review
Targeted Delivery of Exosomes Armed with Anti-Cancer Therapeutics
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010085 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1345
Abstract
Among extracellular vesicles, exosomes have gained great attention for their role as therapeutic vehicles for delivering various active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Exosomes “armed” with anti-cancer therapeutics possess great potential for an efficient intracellular delivery of anti-cancer APIs and enhanced targetability to tumor cells. [...] Read more.
Among extracellular vesicles, exosomes have gained great attention for their role as therapeutic vehicles for delivering various active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Exosomes “armed” with anti-cancer therapeutics possess great potential for an efficient intracellular delivery of anti-cancer APIs and enhanced targetability to tumor cells. Various technologies are being developed to efficiently incorporate anti-cancer APIs such as genetic materials (miRNA, siRNA, mRNA), chemotherapeutics, and proteins into exosomes and to induce targeted delivery to tumor burden by exosomal surface modification. Exosomes can incorporate the desired therapeutic molecules via direct exogenous methods (e.g., electroporation and sonication) or indirect methods by modifying cells to produce “armed” exosomes. The targeted delivery of “armed” exosomes to tumor burden could be accomplished either by “passive” targeting using the natural tropism of exosomes or by “active” targeting via the surface engineering of exosomal membranes. Although anti-cancer exosome therapeutics demonstrated promising results in preclinical studies, success in clinical trials requires thorough validation in terms of chemistry, manufacturing, and control techniques. While exosomes possess multiple advantages over synthetic nanoparticles, challenges remain in increasing the loading efficiency of anti-cancer agents into exosomes, as well as establishing quantitative and qualitative analytical methods for monitoring the delivery of in vivo administered exosomes and exosome-incorporated anti-cancer agents to the tumor parenchyma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Membrane Vesicles)
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Article
Influence of Potassium Ions on Act of Amphotericin B to the DPPC/Chol Mixed Monolayer at Different Surface Pressures
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010084 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 251
Abstract
Amphotericin B (AmB) is an antifungal drug that rarely develops resistance. It has an affinity with the cholesterol on mammalian cell membranes, disrupting the structure and function of the membranes, which are also affected by potassium ions. However, the mechanism is unclear. In [...] Read more.
Amphotericin B (AmB) is an antifungal drug that rarely develops resistance. It has an affinity with the cholesterol on mammalian cell membranes, disrupting the structure and function of the membranes, which are also affected by potassium ions. However, the mechanism is unclear. In this paper, the Langmuir monolayer method was used to study the effects of potassium ions on the surface pressure–mean molecular area of isotherms, elastic modulus and the surface pressure–time curves of a 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine/cholesterol (DPPC/Chol) monolayer and a DPPC/Chol/AmB monolayer. The morphology and thickness of the Langmuir–Blodgett films were studied via atomic force microscopy. The results showed that AmB can increase the mean molecular area of the DPPC/Chol mixed monolayer at low pressures (15 mN/m) but reduces it at high pressures (30 mN/m). The potassium ions may interfere with the effect of AmB in different ways. The potassium ions can enhance the influence of AmB on the stability of monolayer at low surface pressures, but weaken it at high surface pressures. The potassium ions showed significant interference with the interaction between AmB and the cholesterol-enriched region. The results are helpful for us to understand how the effect of amphotericin B on the phospholipid membrane is interfered with by potassium ions when amphotericin B enters mammalian cell membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study on Drug-Membrane Interactions, Volume II)
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Article
Pilot-Scale Test Results of Electrodialysis Bipolar Membrane for Reverse-Osmosis Concentrate Recovery
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010083 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 483
Abstract
In this study, it is aimed to investigate the potential of electrodialysis bipolar membrane (EDBM) systems for the recovery of the concentrate originating from an organized industrial estate (OIE) wastewater treatment system with reverse osmosis (RO). Acids and bases were obtained from a [...] Read more.
In this study, it is aimed to investigate the potential of electrodialysis bipolar membrane (EDBM) systems for the recovery of the concentrate originating from an organized industrial estate (OIE) wastewater treatment system with reverse osmosis (RO). Acids and bases were obtained from a pilot-scale treatment plant as a result of the research. Furthermore, the sustainability and affordability of acids and bases obtained by EDBM systems were investigated. Six cycles were carried out in continuous-flow mode with the EDBM system as batch cycles in the disposal of the concentrate and the production of acids and bases with the EDBM system. For each cycle, the EDBM system was operated for 66, 48, 66, and 80 min, respectively, and the last two cycles were operated for a total of 165 min (70 + 90) with 5 min of waiting. In the EDBM system, a working method was determined such that the cycle flow rate was 180 L/hour, energy to be given to the system was 25 V, and the working pressure was in the range of 0.8–2.5 bar. In the six cycles with the EDBM system, the concentrate, acid and base, conductivity, pH, and pressure increase values were investigated depending on time. Throughout all these studies, the cycles were continued over the products formed in the acid and base chamber. As a result of all the cycles, acid (HCl) production at a level of 1.44% and base (NaOH) production at a level of 2% were obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Membranes for Reverse Electrodialysis)
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Article
Demonstration and Assessment of Purification Cascades for the Separation and Valorization of Hemicellulose from Organosolv Beechwood Hydrolyzates
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010082 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 432
Abstract
Hemicellulose and its derivatives have a high potential to replace fossil-based materials in various high-value-added products. Within this study, two purification cascades for the separation and valorization of hemicellulose and its derived monomeric sugars from organosolv beechwood hydrolyzates (BWHs) were experimentally demonstrated and [...] Read more.
Hemicellulose and its derivatives have a high potential to replace fossil-based materials in various high-value-added products. Within this study, two purification cascades for the separation and valorization of hemicellulose and its derived monomeric sugars from organosolv beechwood hydrolyzates (BWHs) were experimentally demonstrated and assessed. Purification cascade 1 included hydrothermal treatment for converting remaining hemicellulose oligomers to xylose and the purification of the xylose by nanofiltration. Purification cascade 2 included the removal of lignin by adsorption, followed by ultrafiltration for the separation and concentration of hemicellulose. Based on the findings of the experimental work, both cascades were simulated on an industrial scale using Aspen Plus®. In purification cascade 1, 63% of the oligomeric hemicellulose was hydrothermally converted to xylose and purified by nanofiltration to 7.8 t/h of a xylose solution with a concentration of 200 g/L. In purification cascade 2, 80% of the lignin was removed by adsorption, and 7.6 t/h of a purified hemicellulose solution with a concentration of 200 g/L was obtained using ultrafiltration. The energy efficiency of the cascades was 59% and 26%, respectively. Furthermore, the estimation of specific production costs showed that xylose can be recovered from BWH at the cost of 73.7 EUR/t and hemicellulose at 135.1 EUR/t. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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Review
Advances in Membrane Distillation Module Configurations
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010081 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1017
Abstract
Membrane Distillation (MD) is a membrane-based, temperature-driven water reclamation process. While research emphasis has been largely on membrane design, upscaling of MD has prompted advancements in energy-efficient module design and configurations. Apart from the four conventional configurations, researchers have come up with novel [...] Read more.
Membrane Distillation (MD) is a membrane-based, temperature-driven water reclamation process. While research emphasis has been largely on membrane design, upscaling of MD has prompted advancements in energy-efficient module design and configurations. Apart from the four conventional configurations, researchers have come up with novel MD membrane module designs and configurations to improve thermal efficiency. While membrane design has been the focus of many studies, development of appropriate system configurations for optimal energy efficiency for each application has received considerable attention, and is a critical aspect in advancing MD configurations. This review assesses advancements in modified and novel MD configurations design with emphasis on the effects of upscaling and pilot scale studies. Improved MD configurations discussed in this review are the material gap MD, conductive gap MD, permeate gap MD, vacuum-enhanced AGMD/DCMD, submerged MD, flashed-feed MD, dead-end MD, and vacuum-enhanced multi-effect MD. All of these modified MD configurations are designed either to reduce the heat loss by mitigating the temperature polarization or to improve the mass transfer and permeate flux. Vacuum-enhanced MD processes and MD process with non-contact feed solution show promise at the lab-scale and must be further investigated. Hollow fiber membrane-based pilot scale modules have not yet been sufficiently explored. In addition, comparison of various configurations is prevented by a lack of standardized testing conditions. We also reflect on recent pilot scale studies, ongoing hurdles in commercialization, and niche applications of the MD process. Full article
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Review
Rare Earth Elements Recovery Using Selective Membranes via Extraction and Rejection
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010080 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 696
Abstract
Recently, demands for raw materials like rare earth elements (REEs) have increased considerably due to their high potential applications in modern industry. Additionally, REEs’ similar chemical and physical properties caused their separation to be difficult. Numerous strategies for REEs separation such as precipitation, [...] Read more.
Recently, demands for raw materials like rare earth elements (REEs) have increased considerably due to their high potential applications in modern industry. Additionally, REEs’ similar chemical and physical properties caused their separation to be difficult. Numerous strategies for REEs separation such as precipitation, adsorption and solvent extraction have been applied. However, these strategies have various disadvantages such as low selectivity and purity of desired elements, high cost, vast consumption of chemicals and creation of many pollutions due to remaining large amounts of acidic and alkaline wastes. Membrane separation technology (MST), as an environmentally friendly approach, has recently attracted much attention for the extraction of REEs. The separation of REEs by membranes usually occurs through three mechanisms: (1) complexation of REE ions with extractant that is embedded in the membrane matrix, (2) adsorption of REE ions on the surface created-active sites on the membrane and (3) the rejection of REE ions or REEs complex with organic materials from the membrane. In this review, we investigated the effect of these mechanisms on the selectivity and efficiency of the membrane separation process. Finally, potential directions for future studies were recommended at the end of the review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Membrane Technology for Resource Recovery)
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Article
Intrinsic Dependence of Groundwater Cation Hydraulic and Concentration Features on Negatively Charged Thin Composite Nanofiltration Membrane Rejection and Permeation Behavior
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010079 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 279
Abstract
Commercial nanofiltration membranes of different molecular weight cut-offs were tested on a pilot plant for the exploration of permeation nature of Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Na and ammonium ions. Correlation of transmembrane pressure and rejection quotient versus volumetric flux efficiency on nanofiltration membrane [...] Read more.
Commercial nanofiltration membranes of different molecular weight cut-offs were tested on a pilot plant for the exploration of permeation nature of Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Na and ammonium ions. Correlation of transmembrane pressure and rejection quotient versus volumetric flux efficiency on nanofiltration membrane rejection and permeability behavior toward hydrated divalent and monovalent ions separation from the natural groundwater was observed. Membrane ion rejection affinity (MIRA) dimension was established as normalized TMP with regard to permeate solute moiety representing pressure value necessary for solute rejection change of 1%. Ion rejection coefficient (IRC) was introduced to evaluate the membrane rejection capability, and to indicate the prevailed nanofiltration partitioning mechanism near the membrane surface. Positive values of the IRC indicated satisfactory rejection efficiency of the membrane process and its negative values ensigned very low rejection affinity and high permeability of the membranes for the individual solutes. The TMP quotient and the efficiency of rejection for individual cations showed upward and downward trends along with flux utilization increase. Nanofiltration process was observed as an equilibrium. The higher the Gibbs free energy was, cation rejection was more exothermic and valuably enlarged. Low Gibbs free energy values circumferentially closer to endothermic zone indicated expressed ions permeation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymeric Membranes)
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Article
Alleviation of Ultrafiltration Membrane Fouling by ClO2 Pre-Oxidation: Fouling Mechanism and Interface Characteristics
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010078 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 336
Abstract
In order to alleviate membrane fouling and improve removal efficiency, a series of pretreatment technologies were applied to the ultrafiltration process. In this study, ClO2 was used as a pre-oxidation strategy for the ultrafiltration (UF) process. Humic acid (HA), sodium alginate (SA), [...] Read more.
In order to alleviate membrane fouling and improve removal efficiency, a series of pretreatment technologies were applied to the ultrafiltration process. In this study, ClO2 was used as a pre-oxidation strategy for the ultrafiltration (UF) process. Humic acid (HA), sodium alginate (SA), and bovine serum albumin (BSA) were used as three typical organic model foulants, and the mixture of the three substances was used as a representation of simulated natural water. The dosages of ClO2 were 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 mg/L, with 90 min pre-oxidation. The results showed that ClO2 pre-oxidation at low doses (1–2 mg/L) could alleviate the membrane flux decline caused by humus, polysaccharides, and simulated natural water, but had a limited alleviating effect on the irreversible resistance of the membrane. The interfacial free energy analysis showed that the interaction force between the membrane and the simulated natural water was also repulsive after the pre-oxidation, indicating that ClO2 pre-oxidation was an effective way to alleviate cake layer fouling by reducing the interaction between the foulant and the membrane. In addition, ClO2 oxidation activated the hidden functional groups in the raw water, resulting in an increase in the fluorescence value of humic analogs, but had a good removal effect on the fluorescence intensity of BSA. Furthermore, the membrane fouling fitting model showed that ClO2, at a low dose (1 mg/L), could change the mechanism of membrane fouling induced by simulated natural water from standard blocking and cake layer blocking to critical blocking. Overall, ClO2 pre-oxidation was an efficient pretreatment strategy for UF membrane fouling alleviation, especially for the fouling control of HA and SA at low dosages. Full article
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Article
Density Functional Theory Study of B, N, and Si Doped Penta-Graphene as the Potential Gas Sensors for NH3 Detection
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010077 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Designing a high-performance gas sensor to efficiently detect the hazardous NH3 molecule is beneficial to air monitoring and pollution control. In this work, the first-principles calculations were employed to investigate the adsorption structures, electronic characteristics, and gas sensing properties of the pristine [...] Read more.
Designing a high-performance gas sensor to efficiently detect the hazardous NH3 molecule is beneficial to air monitoring and pollution control. In this work, the first-principles calculations were employed to investigate the adsorption structures, electronic characteristics, and gas sensing properties of the pristine and B-, N-, P-, Al-, and Si-doped penta-graphene (PG) toward the NH3, H2S, and SO2 molecules. The results indicate that the pristine PG is insensitive to those toxic gases due to the weak adsorption strength and long adsorption distance. Nevertheless, the doping of B, N, Al, and Si (B and Al) results in the transition of NH3 (H2S and SO2) adsorption from physisorption to chemisorption, which is primarily ascribed to the large charge transfer and strong orbital hybridizations between gas molecules and doping atoms. In addition, NH3 adsorption leads to the remarkable variation of electrical conductivity for the B-, N-, and Si-doped PG, and the adsorption strength of NH3 on the B-, N-, and Si-doped PG is larger than that of H2S and SO2. Moreover, the chemically adsorbed NH3 molecule on the N-, B-, and Si-doped PG can be effectively desorbed by injecting electrons into the systems. Those results shed light on the potential application of PG-based nanosheets as reusable gas sensors for NH3 detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Gas Separation and Purification Processes)
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Article
Influence of Reverse Osmosis Process in Different Operating Conditions on Phenolic Profile and Antioxidant Activity of Conventional and Ecological Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010076 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 990
Abstract
Red wine polyphenols are responsible for its colour, astringency, and bitterness. They are known as strong antioxidants that protect the human body from the harmful effects of free radicals and prevent various diseases. Wine phenolics are influenced by viticulture methods and vinification techniques, [...] Read more.
Red wine polyphenols are responsible for its colour, astringency, and bitterness. They are known as strong antioxidants that protect the human body from the harmful effects of free radicals and prevent various diseases. Wine phenolics are influenced by viticulture methods and vinification techniques, and therefore, conventionally and ecologically produced wines of the same variety do not have the same phenolic profile. Ecological viticulture avoids the use of chemical adjuvants in vineyards in order to minimise their negative influence on the environment, wine, and human health. The phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of wine can also be influenced by additional treatments, such as concentration by reverse osmosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of four different pressures (2.5, 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 MPa) and two temperature regimes (with and without cooling) on the phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of conventional and ecological Cabernet Sauvignon red wine during concentration by reverse osmosis. The results showed that retention of individual phenolic compounds depended on the applied processing parameters, chemical composition of the initial wine, and chemical properties of a compound. Higher pressure and retentate cooling favoured the retention of total polyphenols, flavonoids, and monomeric anthocyanins, compared to the opposite conditions. The same trend was observed for antioxidant activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Membrane Technology for Food Processing)
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Article
On the Potential of Gallium- and Indium-Based Liquid Metal Membranes for Hydrogen Separation
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010075 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 488
Abstract
The concept of liquid metal membranes for hydrogen separation, based on gallium or indium, was recently introduced as an alternative to conventional palladium-based membranes. The potential of this class of gas separation materials was mainly attributed to the promise of higher hydrogen diffusivity. [...] Read more.
The concept of liquid metal membranes for hydrogen separation, based on gallium or indium, was recently introduced as an alternative to conventional palladium-based membranes. The potential of this class of gas separation materials was mainly attributed to the promise of higher hydrogen diffusivity. The postulated improvements are only beneficial to the flux if diffusion through the membrane is the rate-determining step in the permeation sequence. Whilst this is a valid assumption for hydrogen transport through palladium-based membranes, the relatively low adsorption energy of hydrogen on both liquid metals suggests that other phenomena may be relevant. In the current study, a microkinetic modeling approach is used to enable simulations based on a five-step permeation mechanism. The calculation results show that for the liquid metal membranes, the flux is limited by the dissociative adsorption over a large temperature range, and that the membrane flux is expected to be orders of magnitude lower compared to the membrane flux through pure palladium membranes. Even when accounting for the lower cost of the liquid metals compared to palladium, the latter still outperforms both gallium and indium in all realistic scenarios, in part due to the practical difficulties associated with making liquid metal thin films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Inorganic Membranes and Hybrid Materials)
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Article
Cobalt-Doped Carbon Nitride Frameworks Obtained from Calcined Aromatic Polyimines as Cathode Catalyst of Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010074 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 426
Abstract
Cobalt-doped carbon nitride frameworks (CoNC) were prepared from the calcination of Co-chelated aromatic polyimines (APIM) synthesized from stepwise polymerization of p-phenylene diamine (PDA) and o-phthalaldehyde (OPAl) via Schiff base reactions in the presence of cobalt (II) chloride. The Co-chelated APIM (Co-APIM) precursor converted [...] Read more.
Cobalt-doped carbon nitride frameworks (CoNC) were prepared from the calcination of Co-chelated aromatic polyimines (APIM) synthesized from stepwise polymerization of p-phenylene diamine (PDA) and o-phthalaldehyde (OPAl) via Schiff base reactions in the presence of cobalt (II) chloride. The Co-chelated APIM (Co-APIM) precursor converted to CoNC after calcination in two-step heating with the second step performed at 100 °C lower than the first one. The CoNCs demonstrated that its Co, N-co-doped carbonaceous framework contained both graphene and carbon nanotube, as characterized by X-ray diffraction pattern, Raman spectra, and TEM micropictures. CoNCs also revealed a significant ORR peak in the current–voltage polarization cycle and a higher O2 reduction current than that of commercial Pt/C in a linear scanning voltage test in O2-saturated KOH(aq). The calculated e-transferred number even reaches 3.94 in KOH(aq) for the CoNC1000A900 cathode catalyst, which has the highest BET surface area of 393.94 m2 g−1. Single cells of anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) are fabricated using different CoNCs as the cathode catalysts, and CoNC1000A900 demonstrates a peak power density of 374.3 compared to the 334.7 mW cm−2 obtained from the single cell using Pt/C as the cathode catalyst. Full article
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Article
Endogenous Nitric Oxide-Releasing Microgel Coating Prevents Clot Formation on Oxygenator Fibers Exposed to In Vitro Blood Flow
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010073 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 565
Abstract
Background: Clot formation on foreign surfaces of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation systems is a frequent event. Herein, we show an approach that mimics the enzymatic process of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) release on the oxygenator membrane via a biomimetic, non-fouling microgel coating to spatiotemporally [...] Read more.
Background: Clot formation on foreign surfaces of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation systems is a frequent event. Herein, we show an approach that mimics the enzymatic process of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) release on the oxygenator membrane via a biomimetic, non-fouling microgel coating to spatiotemporally inhibit the platelet (PLT) activation and improve antithrombotic properties. This study aims to evaluate the potential of this biomimetic coating towards NO-mediated PLT inhibition and thereby the reduction of clot formation under flow conditions. Methods: Microgel-coated (NOrel) or bare (Control) poly(4-methyl pentene) (PMP) fibers were inserted into a test channel and exposed to a short-term continuous flow of human blood. The analysis included high-resolution PLT count, pooled PLT activation via β-Thromboglobulin (β-TG) and the visualization of remnants and clots on the fibers using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results: In the Control group, PLT count was significantly decreased, and β-TG concentration was significantly elevated in comparison to the NOrel group. Macroscopic and microscopic visualization showed dense layers of stable clots on the bare PMP fibers, in contrast to minimal deposition of fibrin networks on the coated fibers. Conclusion: Endogenously NO-releasing microgel coating inhibits the PLT activation and reduces the clot formation on PMP fibers under dynamic flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane based Materials for Artificial Organs)
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Article
Thermodynamic Modeling and Performance Analysis of Vehicular High-Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell System
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010072 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Since the high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFC) stack require a range of auxiliary equipments to maintain operating conditions, it is necessary to consider operation of related components in the design of HT-PEMFC systems. In this paper, a thermodynamic model of [...] Read more.
Since the high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFC) stack require a range of auxiliary equipments to maintain operating conditions, it is necessary to consider operation of related components in the design of HT-PEMFC systems. In this paper, a thermodynamic model of a vehicular HT-PEMFC system using phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membrane is developed. The power distribution and exergy loss of each component are derived according to thermodynamic analysis, where the stack and heat exchanger are the two components with the greatest exergy loss. In addition, ecological functions and improvement potentials are proposed to evaluate the system performance better. On this basis, the effects of stack inlet temperature, pressure, and stoichiometric on system performance are analyzed. The results showed that the energy efficiency, exergy efficiency and net output power of the system achieved the maximum when the inlet gases temperature is 406.1 K. The system performance is better when the cathode inlet pressure is relatively low and the anode inlet pressure is relatively high. Moreover, the stoichiometry should be reduced to improve the system output performance on the basis of ensuring sufficient gases reaction in the stack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes in Electrochemistry Applications)
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Review
Recent Advances of Polymeric Membranes in Tackling Plasticization and Aging for Practical Industrial CO2/CH4 Applications—A Review
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010071 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 581
Abstract
Membranes are a promising technology for bulk CO2 separation from natural gas mixtures due to their numerous advantages. Despite the numerous fundamental studies on creating better quality membrane efficiency, scaling up the research work for field testing requires huge efforts. The challenge [...] Read more.
Membranes are a promising technology for bulk CO2 separation from natural gas mixtures due to their numerous advantages. Despite the numerous fundamental studies on creating better quality membrane efficiency, scaling up the research work for field testing requires huge efforts. The challenge is to ensure the stability of the membrane throughout the operation while maintaining its high performance. This review addresses the key challenges in the application of polymeric technology for CO2 separation, focusing on plasticization and aging. A brief introduction to the properties and limitations of the current commercial polymeric membrane is first deliberated. The effect of each plasticizer component in natural gas towards membrane performance and the relationship between operating conditions and the membrane efficiency are discussed in this review. The recent technological advancements and techniques to overcome the plasticization and aging issues covering polymer modification, high free-volume polymers, polymer blending and facilitated transport membranes (FTMs) have been highlighted. We also give our perspectives on a few main features of research related to polymeric membranes and the way forwards. Upcoming research must emphasize mixed gas with CO2 including minor condensable contaminants as per real natural gas, to determine the competitive sorption effect on CO2 permeability and membrane selectivity. The effects of pore blocking, plasticization and aging should be given particular attention to cater for large-scale applications. Full article
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