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Membranes, Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2016) – 9 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Integration of Methane Steam Reforming and Water Gas Shift Reaction in a Pd/Au/Pd-Based Catalytic Membrane Reactor for Process Intensification
Membranes 2016, 6(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6030044 - 19 Sep 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3462
Abstract
Palladium-based catalytic membrane reactors (CMRs) effectively remove H2 to induce higher conversions in methane steam reforming (MSR) and water-gas-shift reactions (WGS). Within such a context, this work evaluates the technical performance of a novel CMR, which utilizes two catalysts in series, rather [...] Read more.
Palladium-based catalytic membrane reactors (CMRs) effectively remove H2 to induce higher conversions in methane steam reforming (MSR) and water-gas-shift reactions (WGS). Within such a context, this work evaluates the technical performance of a novel CMR, which utilizes two catalysts in series, rather than one. In the process system under consideration, the first catalyst, confined within the shell side of the reactor, reforms methane with water yielding H2, CO and CO2. After reforming is completed, a second catalyst, positioned in series, reacts with CO and water through the WGS reaction yielding pure H2O, CO2 and H2. A tubular composite asymmetric Pd/Au/Pd membrane is situated throughout the reactor to continuously remove the produced H2 and induce higher methane and CO conversions while yielding ultrapure H2 and compressed CO2 ready for dehydration. Experimental results involving (i) a conventional packed bed reactor packed (PBR) for MSR, (ii) a PBR with five layers of two catalysts in series and (iii) a CMR with two layers of two catalysts in series are comparatively assessed and thoroughly characterized. Furthermore, a comprehensive 2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed to explore further the features of the proposed configuration. The reaction was studied at different process intensification-relevant conditions, such as space velocities, temperatures, pressures and initial feed gas composition. Finally, it is demonstrated that the above CMR module, which was operated for 600 h, displays quite high H2 permeance and purity, high CH4 conversion levels and reduced CO yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane and Process Intensification)
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Open AccessArticle
Protein-Based Graphene Biosensors: Optimizing Artificial Chemoreception in Bilayer Lipid Membranes
Membranes 2016, 6(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6030043 - 07 Sep 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2778
Abstract
Proteinaceous moieties are critical elements in most detection systems, including biosensing platforms. Their potential is undoubtedly vast, yet many issues regarding their full exploitation remain unsolved. On the other hand, the biosensor formats with the higher marketability probabilities are enzyme in nature and [...] Read more.
Proteinaceous moieties are critical elements in most detection systems, including biosensing platforms. Their potential is undoubtedly vast, yet many issues regarding their full exploitation remain unsolved. On the other hand, the biosensor formats with the higher marketability probabilities are enzyme in nature and electrochemical in concept. To no surprise, alternative materials for hosting catalysis within an electrode casing have received much attention lately to demonstrate a catalysis-coated device. Graphene and ZnO are presented as ideal materials to modify electrodes and biosensor platforms, especially in protein-based detection. Our group developed electrochemical sensors based on these nanomaterials for the sensitive detection of cholesterol using cholesterol oxidase incorporated in stabilized lipid films. A comparison between the two platforms is provided and discussed. In a broader sense, the not-so-remote prospect of quickly assembling a protein-based flexible biosensing detector to fulfill site-specific requirements is appealing to both university researchers and industry developers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supported Lipid Membranes)
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Open AccessReview
Membrane Technology for the Recovery of Lignin: A Review
Membranes 2016, 6(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6030042 - 06 Sep 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2893
Abstract
Utilization of renewable resources is becoming increasingly important, and only sustainable processes that convert such resources into useful products can achieve environmentally beneficial economic growth. Wastewater from the pulp and paper industry is an unutilized resource offering the potential to recover valuable products [...] Read more.
Utilization of renewable resources is becoming increasingly important, and only sustainable processes that convert such resources into useful products can achieve environmentally beneficial economic growth. Wastewater from the pulp and paper industry is an unutilized resource offering the potential to recover valuable products such as lignin, pigments, and water [1]. The recovery of lignin is particularly important because it has many applications, and membrane technology has been investigated as the basis of innovative recovery solutions. The concentration of lignin can be increased from 62 to 285 g∙L−1 using membranes and the recovered lignin is extremely pure. Membrane technology is also scalable and adaptable to different waste liquors from the pulp and paper industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane and Process Intensification)
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Open AccessCommunication
Insights into Surface Interactions between Metal Organic Frameworks and Gases during Transient Adsorption and Diffusion by In-Situ Small Angle X-ray Scattering
Membranes 2016, 6(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6030041 - 03 Sep 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2790
Abstract
The fabrication of molecular gas sieving materials with specific affinities for a single gas species and able to store large quantities of materials at a low or atmospheric pressure is desperately required to reduce the adverse effects of coal and oil usage in [...] Read more.
The fabrication of molecular gas sieving materials with specific affinities for a single gas species and able to store large quantities of materials at a low or atmospheric pressure is desperately required to reduce the adverse effects of coal and oil usage in carbon capture. Fundamental understanding of the dynamic adsorption of gas, the diffusion mechanisms across thin film membranes, and the impact of interfaces play a vital role in developing these materials. In this work, single gas permeation tests across micro-porous membrane materials, based on metal organic framework crystals grown on the surface of carbon nanotubes ([email protected]), were performed for the first time in-situ at the Australian Synchrotron on the small angle X-ray scattering beamline in order to reveal molecular sieving mechanisms and gas adsorption within the material. The results show that specific chemi-sorption of CO2 across the ZiF-8 crystal lattices affected the morphology and unit cell parameters, while the sieving of other noble or noble like gases across the [email protected] membranes was found to largely follow Knudsen diffusion. This work demonstrates for the first time a novel and effective technique to assess molecular diffusion at the nano-scale across sub-nano-porous materials by probing molecular flexibility across crystal lattice and single cell units. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Permeability-Selectivity Analysis of Microfiltration and Ultrafiltration Membranes: Effect of Pore Size and Shape Distribution and Membrane Stretching
Membranes 2016, 6(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6030040 - 06 Aug 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2484
Abstract
We present a modeling approach to determine the permeability-selectivity tradeoff for microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes with a distribution of pore sizes and pore shapes. Using the formulated permeability-selectivity model, the effect of pore aspect ratio and pore size distribution on the permeability-selectivity tradeoff [...] Read more.
We present a modeling approach to determine the permeability-selectivity tradeoff for microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes with a distribution of pore sizes and pore shapes. Using the formulated permeability-selectivity model, the effect of pore aspect ratio and pore size distribution on the permeability-selectivity tradeoff of the membrane is analyzed. A finite element model is developed to study the effect of membrane stretching on the distribution of pore sizes and shapes in the stretched membrane. The effect of membrane stretching on the permeability-selectivity tradeoff of membranes is also analyzed. The results show that increasing pore aspect ratio improves membrane performance while increasing the width of pore size distribution deteriorates the performance. It was also found that the effect of membrane stretching on the permeability-selectivity tradeoff is greatly affected by the uniformity of pore distribution in the membrane. Stretching showed a positive shift in the permeability-selectivity tradeoff curve of membranes with well-dispersed pores while in the case of pore clustering, a negative shift in the permeability-selectivity tradeoff curve was observed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combining Coagulation/MIEX with Biological Activated Carbon Treatment to Control Organic Fouling in the Microfiltration of Secondary Effluent
Membranes 2016, 6(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6030039 - 30 Jul 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2389
Abstract
Coagulation, magnetic ion exchange resin (MIEX) and biological activated carbon (BAC) were examined at lab scale as standalone, and sequential pre-treatments for controlling the organic fouling of a microfiltration membrane by biologically treated secondary effluent (BTSE) using a multi-cycle approach. MIEX gave slightly [...] Read more.
Coagulation, magnetic ion exchange resin (MIEX) and biological activated carbon (BAC) were examined at lab scale as standalone, and sequential pre-treatments for controlling the organic fouling of a microfiltration membrane by biologically treated secondary effluent (BTSE) using a multi-cycle approach. MIEX gave slightly greater enhancement in flux than coagulation due to greater removal of high molecular weight (MW) humic substances, although it was unable to remove high MW biopolymers. BAC treatment was considerably more effective for improving the flux than coagulation or MIEX. This was due to the biodegradation of biopolymers and/or their adsorption by the biofilm, and adsorption of humic substances by the activated carbon, as indicated by size exclusion chromatography. Coagulation or MIEX followed by BAC treatment further reduced the problematic foulants and significantly improved the flux performance. The unified membrane fouling index showed that the reduction of membrane fouling by standalone BAC treatment was 42%. This improved to 65%, 70%, and 93% for alum, ferric chloride and MIEX pre-treatment, respectively, when followed by BAC treatment. This study showed the potential of sequential MIEX and BAC pre-treatment for controlling organic fouling and thus enhancing the performance of microfiltration in the reclamation of BTSE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: Fouling, Scaling and Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of PAC Fines in Fouling of Polymeric and Ceramic Low-Pressure Membranes for Drinking Water Treatment
Membranes 2016, 6(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6030038 - 07 Jul 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2512
Abstract
This study assessed the issue of membrane fouling in a Hybrid Membrane Process (HMP) due to the export of powdered activated carbon (PAC) fines from a pretreatment contactor. Two parallel pilot-scale ceramic and polymeric membranes were studied. Reversible and irreversible foulings were measured [...] Read more.
This study assessed the issue of membrane fouling in a Hybrid Membrane Process (HMP) due to the export of powdered activated carbon (PAC) fines from a pretreatment contactor. Two parallel pilot-scale ceramic and polymeric membranes were studied. Reversible and irreversible foulings were measured following three cleaning procedures: Physical backwashing (BW), chemically enhanced backwashing (CEB) and Clean-in-Place (CIP). The impacts on fouling of membrane type, operation flux increase and the presence/absence of the PAC pretreatment were investigated. Membranes without pretreatment were operated in parallel as a control. In addition, CIP washwaters samples were analyzed to measure organic and inorganic foulants removed from the membranes. It was observed that for the polymeric membranes, fouling generally increased with the presence of the PAC pretreatment because of the export of fines. On the contrary, the ceramic membranes were not significantly impacted by their presence. The analysis of CIP washwaters showed a greater total organic carbon (TOC) content on membranes with a PAC pretreatment while no similar conclusion could be made for inorganic foulants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes and Water Treatment 2016)
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Open AccessReview
Efficiently Combining Water Reuse and Desalination through Forward Osmosis—Reverse Osmosis (FO-RO) Hybrids: A Critical Review
Membranes 2016, 6(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6030037 - 01 Jul 2016
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 4460
Abstract
Forward osmosis (FO) is a promising membrane technology to combine seawater desalination and water reuse. More specifically, in a FO-reverse osmosis (RO) hybrid process, high quality water recovered from the wastewater stream is used to dilute seawater before RO treatment. As such, lower [...] Read more.
Forward osmosis (FO) is a promising membrane technology to combine seawater desalination and water reuse. More specifically, in a FO-reverse osmosis (RO) hybrid process, high quality water recovered from the wastewater stream is used to dilute seawater before RO treatment. As such, lower desalination energy needs and/or water augmentation can be obtained while delivering safe water for direct potable reuse thanks to the double dense membrane barrier protection. Typically, FO-RO hybrid can be a credible alternative to new desalination facilities or to implementation of stand-alone water reuse schemes. However, apart from the societal (public perception of water reuse for potable application) and water management challenges (proximity of wastewater and desalination plants), FO-RO hybrid has to overcome technical limitation such as low FO permeation flux to become economically attractive. Recent developments (i.e., improved FO membranes, use of pressure assisted osmosis, PAO) demonstrated significant improvement in water flux. However, flux improvement is associated with drawbacks, such as increased fouling behaviour, lower rejection of trace organic compounds (TrOCs) in PAO operation, and limitation in FO membrane mechanical resistance, which need to be better considered. To support successful implementation of FO-RO hybrid in the industry, further work is required regarding up-scaling to apprehend full-scale challenges in term of mass transfer limitation, pressure drop, fouling and cleaning strategies on a module scale. In addition, refined economics assessment is expected to integrate fouling and other maintenance costs/savings of the FO/PAO-RO hybrid systems, as well as cost savings from any treatment step avoided in the water recycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes and Water Treatment 2016)
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Open AccessArticle
Biochip for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Therapeutic Agents against Anthrax Toxins
Membranes 2016, 6(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6030036 - 24 Jun 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2552
Abstract
Tethered lipid bilayer membranes (tBLMs) have been used in many applications, including biosensing and membrane protein structure studies. This report describes a biosensor for anthrax toxins that was fabricated through the self-assembly of a tBLM with B. anthracis protective antigen ion channels that [...] Read more.
Tethered lipid bilayer membranes (tBLMs) have been used in many applications, including biosensing and membrane protein structure studies. This report describes a biosensor for anthrax toxins that was fabricated through the self-assembly of a tBLM with B. anthracis protective antigen ion channels that are both the recognition element and electrochemical transducer. We characterize the sensor and its properties with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance. The sensor shows a sensitivity similar to ELISA and can also be used to rapidly screen for molecules that bind to the toxins and potentially inhibit their lethal effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supported Lipid Membranes)
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