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Membranes, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
Development of High-Antifouling PPSU Ultrafiltration Membrane by Using Compound Additives: Preparation, Morphologies, and Filtration Resistant Properties
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020035 - 21 Jun 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3057
Abstract
In this study, flat sheet asymmetric polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) ultrafiltration membranes with enhanced antifouling properties were prepared with a non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) method through compound additives containing a polymeric pore-forming agent, a small molecular non-solvent and a surfactant. The formation processes of [...] Read more.
In this study, flat sheet asymmetric polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) ultrafiltration membranes with enhanced antifouling properties were prepared with a non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) method through compound additives containing a polymeric pore-forming agent, a small molecular non-solvent and a surfactant. The formation processes of the porous asymmetric membranes with different kinds of additives were studied in detail, and the microstructure controllable preparation of membrane was achieved by establishing a bridge between the membrane preparation parameters and separation performances. All prepared membranes were characterized by using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), contact angle analysis, porosity, maximum pore size, water and BSA solution permeability studies. The performance efficiency of the membrane was evaluated by using BSA as a model foulant in terms of permeability, solute rejection (R), Rm (membrane inherent resistance), Rc (cake layer resistance), and Rp (pore plugging resistance). The results showed that when the compound additives were used, the inter-connected pores were observed, maximum pore size, contact angle and membrane filtration resistance decreased, while the porosity increased. When PVP compound additives were added, the water flux increased from 80.4 to 148.1 L/(m2·h), the BSA rejection increased from 53.2% to 81.5%. A similar trend was observed for membranes with added PEG compound additives; the water flux and BSA rejection simultaneously increased. The filtration resistance decreased as a result of compound additives. The uniformity of membrane and the number of effective pores could be enhanced by adding compound additives through the cooperation of different additives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Emulsification Characteristics Using a Dynamic Woven Metal Microscreen Membrane
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020034 - 20 Jun 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1939
Abstract
An oscillatory emulsification system for the production of oil in water emulsions using a commercially available low-cost woven metal microscreen (WMMS) is investigated. The system allows for independent control of both the oscillation frequencies and amplitudes such that it provides two degrees of [...] Read more.
An oscillatory emulsification system for the production of oil in water emulsions using a commercially available low-cost woven metal microscreen (WMMS) is investigated. The system allows for independent control of both the oscillation frequencies and amplitudes such that it provides two degrees of freedom for controlling the emulsion properties. The investigations included the production of both surfactant and particle-stabilized emulsions. The average droplet size was found to decrease when both the oscillation frequency and amplitude was increased. For surfactant-stabilized emulsions, using bi-surfactants in both the continuous and dispersed phases resulted in a smaller droplet size due to lower interfacial tension. For particle-stabilized emulsions, both the hydrodynamics of the system and the hydrophobic and hydrophilic nature of the stabilizing particles influenced the interfacial properties at the oil–water interface, which in turn affected the final droplet size and distribution with potential droplet breakage. In absence of the latter, a simple torque balance model can be used to reasonably predict the average emulsion droplet size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Emulsification)
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Open AccessReview
Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Technology for Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation: Membrane Fouling
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020033 - 15 Jun 2016
Cited by 63 | Viewed by 6757
Abstract
The membrane bioreactor (MBR) has emerged as an efficient compact technology for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment. The major drawback impeding wider application of MBRs is membrane fouling, which significantly reduces membrane performance and lifespan, resulting in a significant increase in maintenance and [...] Read more.
The membrane bioreactor (MBR) has emerged as an efficient compact technology for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment. The major drawback impeding wider application of MBRs is membrane fouling, which significantly reduces membrane performance and lifespan, resulting in a significant increase in maintenance and operating costs. Finding sustainable membrane fouling mitigation strategies in MBRs has been one of the main concerns over the last two decades. This paper provides an overview of membrane fouling and studies conducted to identify mitigating strategies for fouling in MBRs. Classes of foulants, including biofoulants, organic foulants and inorganic foulants, as well as factors influencing membrane fouling are outlined. Recent research attempts on fouling control, including addition of coagulants and adsorbents, combination of aerobic granulation with MBRs, introduction of granular materials with air scouring in the MBR tank, and quorum quenching are presented. The addition of coagulants and adsorbents shows a significant membrane fouling reduction, but further research is needed to establish optimum dosages of the various coagulants/adsorbents. Similarly, the integration of aerobic granulation with MBRs, which targets biofoulants and organic foulants, shows outstanding filtration performance and a significant reduction in fouling rate, as well as excellent nutrients removal. However, further research is needed on the enhancement of long-term granule integrity. Quorum quenching also offers a strong potential for fouling control, but pilot-scale testing is required to explore the feasibility of full-scale application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes and Water Treatment 2016)
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Nicotera, I.; Angjeli, K.; Coppola, L.; Aricò, A.S.; Baglio, V. NMR and Electrochemical Investigation of the Transport Properties of Methanol and Water in Nafion and Clay-Nanocomposites Membranes for DMFCs. Membranes 2012, 2, 325–345
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020032 - 11 Jun 2016
Viewed by 1746
Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Characterization of Facilitated Transport Membranes Composed of Chitosan-Styrene and Chitosan-Acrylonitrile Copolymers Modified by Methylimidazolium Based Ionic Liquids for CO2 Separation from CH4 and N2
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020031 - 09 Jun 2016
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2966
Abstract
CO2 separation was found to be facilitated by transport membranes based on novel chitosan (CS)–poly(styrene) (PS) and chitosan (CS)–poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN) copolymer matrices doped with methylimidazolium based ionic liquids: [bmim][BF4], [bmim][PF6], and [bmim][Tf2N] (IL). CS plays the [...] Read more.
CO2 separation was found to be facilitated by transport membranes based on novel chitosan (CS)–poly(styrene) (PS) and chitosan (CS)–poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN) copolymer matrices doped with methylimidazolium based ionic liquids: [bmim][BF4], [bmim][PF6], and [bmim][Tf2N] (IL). CS plays the role of biodegradable film former and selectivity promoter. Copolymers were prepared implementing the latest achievements in radical copolymerization with chosen monomers, which enabled the achievement of outstanding mechanical strength values for the CS-based membranes (75–104 MPa for CS-PAN and 69–75 MPa for CS-PS). Ionic liquid (IL) doping affected the surface and mechanical properties of the membranes as well as the gas separation properties. The highest CO2 permeability 400 Barrers belongs to CS-b-PS/[bmim][BF4]. The highest selectivity α (CO2/N2) = 15.5 was achieved for CS-b-PAN/[bmim][BF4]. The operational temperature of the membranes is under 220 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymer Membranes for Industrial Applications)
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Open AccessReview
Tethered and Polymer Supported Bilayer Lipid Membranes: Structure and Function
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020030 - 30 May 2016
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 4806
Abstract
Solid supported bilayer lipid membranes are model systems to mimic natural cell membranes in order to understand structural and functional properties of such systems. The use of a model system allows for the use of a wide variety of analytical tools including atomic [...] Read more.
Solid supported bilayer lipid membranes are model systems to mimic natural cell membranes in order to understand structural and functional properties of such systems. The use of a model system allows for the use of a wide variety of analytical tools including atomic force microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, neutron reflectometry, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Among the large number of different types of model membranes polymer-supported and tethered lipid bilayers have been shown to be versatile and useful systems. Both systems consist of a lipid bilayer, which is de-coupled from an underlying support by a spacer cushion. Both systems will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the effect that the spacer moiety has on the bilayer properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supported Lipid Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Production of Fluconazole-Loaded Polymeric Micelles Using Membrane and Microfluidic Dispersion Devices
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020029 - 25 May 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2404
Abstract
Polymeric micelles with a controlled size in the range between 41 and 80 nm were prepared by injecting the organic phase through a microengineered nickel membrane or a tapered-end glass capillary into an aqueous phase. The organic phase was composed of 1 mg·mL [...] Read more.
Polymeric micelles with a controlled size in the range between 41 and 80 nm were prepared by injecting the organic phase through a microengineered nickel membrane or a tapered-end glass capillary into an aqueous phase. The organic phase was composed of 1 mg·mL−1 of PEG-b-PCL diblock copolymers with variable molecular weights, dissolved in tetrahydrofuran (THF) or acetone. The pore size of the membrane was 20 μm and the aqueous/organic phase volumetric flow rate ratio ranged from 1.5 to 10. Block copolymers were successfully synthesized with Mn ranging from ~9700 to 16,000 g·mol−1 and polymeric micelles were successfully produced from both devices. Micelles produced from the membrane device were smaller than those produced from the microfluidic device, due to the much smaller pore size compared with the orifice size in a co-flow device. The micelles were found to be relatively stable in terms of their size with an initial decrease in size attributed to evaporation of residual solvent rather than their structural disintegration. Fluconazole was loaded into the cores of micelles by injecting the organic phase composed of 0.5–2.5 mg·mL−1 fluconazole and 1.5 mg·mL−1 copolymer. The size of the drug-loaded micelles was found to be significantly larger than the size of empty micelles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Emulsification)
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Open AccessArticle
Mixed Matrix Membranes for O2/N2 Separation: The Influence of Temperature
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020028 - 16 May 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2306
Abstract
In this work, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) composed of small-pore zeolites with various topologies (CHA (Si/Al = 5), LTA (Si/Al = 1 and 5), and Rho (Si/Al = 5)) as dispersed phase, and the hugely permeable poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne) (PTMSP) as continuous phase, have been [...] Read more.
In this work, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) composed of small-pore zeolites with various topologies (CHA (Si/Al = 5), LTA (Si/Al = 1 and 5), and Rho (Si/Al = 5)) as dispersed phase, and the hugely permeable poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne) (PTMSP) as continuous phase, have been synthesized via solution casting, in order to obtain membranes that could be attractive for oxygen-enriched air production. The O2/N2 gas separation performance of the MMMs has been analyzed in terms of permeability, diffusivity, and solubility in the temperature range of 298–333 K. The higher the temperature of the oxygen-enriched stream, the lower the energy required for the combustion process. The effect of temperature on the gas permeability, diffusivity, and solubility of these MMMs is described in terms of the Arrhenius and Van’t Hoff relationships with acceptable accuracy. Moreover, the O2/N2 permselectivity of the MMMs increases with temperature, the O2/N2 selectivities being considerably higher than those of the pure PTMSP. In consequence, most of the MMMs prepared in this work exceeded the Robeson’s upper bound for the O2/N2 gas pair in the temperature range under study, with not much decrease in the O2 permeabilities, reaching O2/N2 selectivities of up to 8.43 and O2 permeabilities up to 4,800 Barrer at 333 K. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Controlled Bulk Properties of Composite Polymeric Solutions for Extensive Structural Order of Honeycomb Polysulfone Membranes
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020027 - 16 May 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2523
Abstract
This work provides additional insights into the identification of operating conditions necessary to overcome a current limitation to the scale-up of the breath figure method, which is regarded as an outstanding manufacturing approach for structurally ordered porous films. The major restriction concerns, indeed, [...] Read more.
This work provides additional insights into the identification of operating conditions necessary to overcome a current limitation to the scale-up of the breath figure method, which is regarded as an outstanding manufacturing approach for structurally ordered porous films. The major restriction concerns, indeed, uncontrolled touching droplets at the boundary. Herein, the bulk of polymeric solutions are properly managed to generate honeycomb membranes with a long-range structurally ordered texture. Water uptake and dynamics are explored as chemical environments are changed with the intent to modify the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance and local water floatation. In this context, a model surfactant such as the polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate is used in combination with alcohols at different chain length extents and a traditional polymer such as the polyethersufone. Changes in the interfacial tension and kinematic viscosity taking place in the bulk of composite solutions are explored and examined in relation to competitive droplet nucleation and growth rate. As a result, extensive structurally ordered honeycomb textures are obtained with the rising content of the surfactant while a broad range of well-sized pores is targeted as a function of the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance and viscosity of the composite polymeric mixture. The experimental findings confirm the consistency of the approach and are expected to give propulsion to the commercially production of breath figures films shortly. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Linking Findings in Microfluidics to Membrane Emulsification Process Design: The Importance of Wettability and Component Interactions with Interfaces
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020026 - 11 May 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2700
Abstract
In microfluidics and other microstructured devices, wettability changes, as a result of component interactions with the solid wall, can have dramatic effects. In emulsion separation and emulsification applications, the desired behavior can even be completely lost. Wettability changes also occur in one phase [...] Read more.
In microfluidics and other microstructured devices, wettability changes, as a result of component interactions with the solid wall, can have dramatic effects. In emulsion separation and emulsification applications, the desired behavior can even be completely lost. Wettability changes also occur in one phase systems, but the effect is much more far-reaching when using two-phase systems. For microfluidic emulsification devices, this can be elegantly demonstrated and quantified for EDGE (Edge-base Droplet GEneration) devices that have a specific behavior that allows us to distinguish between surfactant and liquid interactions with the solid surface. Based on these findings, design rules can be defined for emulsification with any micro-structured emulsification device, such as direct and premix membrane emulsification. In general, it can be concluded that mostly surface interactions increase the contact angle toward 90°, either through the surfactant, or the oil that is used. This leads to poor process stability, and very limited pressure ranges at which small droplets can be made in microfluidic systems, and cross-flow membrane emulsification. In a limited number of cases, surface interactions can also lead to lower contact angles, thereby increasing the operational stability. This paper concludes with a guideline that can be used to come to the appropriate combination of membrane construction material (or any micro-structured device), surfactants and liquids, in combination with process conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Emulsification)
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Open AccessArticle
Microencapsulation by Membrane Emulsification of Biophenols Recovered from Olive Mill Wastewaters
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020025 - 09 May 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2158
Abstract
Biophenols are highly prized for their free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities. Olive mill wastewaters (OMWWs) are rich in biophenols. For this reason, there is a growing interest in the recovery and valorization of these compounds. Applications for the encapsulation have increased in [...] Read more.
Biophenols are highly prized for their free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities. Olive mill wastewaters (OMWWs) are rich in biophenols. For this reason, there is a growing interest in the recovery and valorization of these compounds. Applications for the encapsulation have increased in the food industry as well as the pharmaceutical and cosmetic fields, among others. Advancements in micro-fabrication methods are needed to design new functional particles with target properties in terms of size, size distribution, and functional activity. This paper describes the use of the membrane emulsification method for the fine-tuning of microparticle production with biofunctional activity. In particular, in this pioneering work, membrane emulsification has been used as an advanced method for biophenols encapsulation. Catechol has been used as a biophenol model, while a biophenols mixture recovered from OMWWs were used as a real matrix. Water-in-oil emulsions with droplet sizes approximately 2.3 times the membrane pore diameter, a distribution span of 0.33, and high encapsulation efficiency (98% ± 1% and 92% ± 3%, for catechol and biophenols, respectively) were produced. The release of biophenols was also investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Emulsification)
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Open AccessArticle
New RO TFC Membranes by Interfacial Polymerization in n-Dodecane with Various co-Solvents
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020024 - 29 Apr 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2329
Abstract
The objective of this research is to prepare and characterize a new and highly efficient polyamide TFC RO membrane by interfacial polymerization in dodecane solvent mixed with co-solvents. Three co-solvents were tested namely; acetone, ethyl acetate, and diethyl ether of concentration of 0.5, [...] Read more.
The objective of this research is to prepare and characterize a new and highly efficient polyamide TFC RO membrane by interfacial polymerization in dodecane solvent mixed with co-solvents. Three co-solvents were tested namely; acetone, ethyl acetate, and diethyl ether of concentration of 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 5 wt %. The modified membranes were characterized by SEM, EDX, AFM and contact angle techniques. The results showed that addition of co-solvent results in a decrease in the roughness, pore size and thickness of the produced membranes. However, as the concentration of the co-solvent increases the pore size of the membranes gets larger. Among the three co-solvents tested, acetone was found to result in membranes with the largest pore size and contact angle followed by diethyl ether then ethyl acetate. Measured contact angle increases as the concentration of the co-solvent increases reaching a constant value except for ethyl acetate where it was found to drop. Investigating flux and salt rejection by the formulated membranes showed that higher flux was attained when acetone was used as a co-solvent followed by diethyl ether then ethyl acetate. However, the highest salt rejection was achieved with diethyl ether. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
PES Surface Modification Using Green Chemistry: New Generation of Antifouling Membranes
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020023 - 18 Apr 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2889
Abstract
A major limitation in using membrane-based separation processes is the loss of performance due to membrane fouling. This drawback can be addressed thanks to surface modification treatments. A new and promising surface modification using green chemistry has been recently investigated. This modification is [...] Read more.
A major limitation in using membrane-based separation processes is the loss of performance due to membrane fouling. This drawback can be addressed thanks to surface modification treatments. A new and promising surface modification using green chemistry has been recently investigated. This modification is carried out at room temperature and in aqueous medium using green catalyst (enzyme) and nontoxic modifier, which can be safely labelled “green surface modification”. This modification can be considered as a nucleus of new generation of antifouling membranes and surfaces. In the current research, ferulic acid modifier and laccase bio-catalyst were used to make poly(ethersulfone) (PES) membrane less vulnerable to protein adsorption. The blank and modified PES membranes are evaluated based on e.g., their flux and protein repellence. Both the blank and the modified PES membranes (or laminated PES on silicon dioxide surface) are characterized using many techniques e.g., SEM, EDX, XPS and SPM, etc. The pure water flux of the most modified membranes was reduced by 10% on average relative to the blank membrane, and around a 94% reduction in protein adsorption was determined. In the conclusions section, a comparison between three modifiers—ferulic acid, and two other previously used modifiers (4-hydroxybenzoic acid and gallic acid)—is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: Fouling, Scaling and Aging)
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Open AccessReview
Polysaccharide-Based Membranes in Food Packaging Applications
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020022 - 13 Apr 2016
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 4516
Abstract
Plastic packaging is essential nowadays. However, the huge environmental problem caused by landfill disposal of non-biodegradable polymers in the end of life has to be minimized and preferentially eliminated. The solution may rely on the use of biopolymers, in particular polysaccharides. These macromolecules [...] Read more.
Plastic packaging is essential nowadays. However, the huge environmental problem caused by landfill disposal of non-biodegradable polymers in the end of life has to be minimized and preferentially eliminated. The solution may rely on the use of biopolymers, in particular polysaccharides. These macromolecules with film-forming properties are able to produce attracting biodegradable materials, possibly applicable in food packaging. Despite all advantages of using polysaccharides obtained from different sources, some drawbacks, mostly related to their low resistance to water, mechanical performance and price, have hindered their wider use and commercialization. Nevertheless, with increasing attention and research on this field, it has been possible to trace some strategies to overcome the problems and recognize solutions. This review summarizes some of the most used polysaccharides in food packaging applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymer Membranes for Industrial Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Failure Mechanisms of Hollow Fiber Supported Ionic Liquid Membranes
Membranes 2016, 6(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6020021 - 23 Mar 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2680
Abstract
Hollow fiber supported ionic liquid membranes (SILMs) were tested using the bubble point method to investigate potential failure modes, including the maximum transmembrane pressure before loss of the ionic liquid from the support. Porous hollow fiber supports were fabricated with different pore morphologies [...] Read more.
Hollow fiber supported ionic liquid membranes (SILMs) were tested using the bubble point method to investigate potential failure modes, including the maximum transmembrane pressure before loss of the ionic liquid from the support. Porous hollow fiber supports were fabricated with different pore morphologies using Matrimid® and Torlon® as the polymeric material and 1-hexyl-3-methylimidalzolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([C6mim][Tf2N]) as the ionic liquid (IL) component. Hollow fiber SILMs were tested for their maximum pressure before failure, with pressure applied either from the bore side or shell side. It was found that the membranes exhibited one or more of three different modes of failure when pressurized: liquid loss (occurring at the bubble point), rupture, and collapse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Liquid Membranes 2016)
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