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Membranes, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The chemical degradation of amine solvents and formation of heat stable salts (HSS) during [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Design of a Novel Membrane Draft Tube Jet Loop Reactor (MDJLR) and Treatment of Slaughterhouse Wastewater
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110155 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
The most important obstacle to the widespread use of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) is membrane fouling. In this study, a high-efficiency compact MBR was developed. Therefore, the draft tube of the jet loop reactor (JLB) was planned for use as a membrane module. The [...] Read more.
The most important obstacle to the widespread use of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) is membrane fouling. In this study, a high-efficiency compact MBR was developed. Therefore, the draft tube of the jet loop reactor (JLB) was planned for use as a membrane module. The high-velocity jet streams, which are present according to the nature of the JLBs, provide high crossflow (cut-off force) on the membrane surface. Thus, the produced membrane module is operated in submerged membrane mode. This enhanced JLB modification is named the membrane draft tube jet loop reactor (MDJLR). This new system has a KLa value of 139 h−1 (at E/V of 2.24 kW m−3). In the next stage, treatment of slaughterhouse wastewater with the MDJLR was carried out. Under the 5.5 kg COD m−3 d−1 loading rate, efficiencies over 97% were achieved. The system operated continuously for 50 days without membrane backwashing or cleaning. During this period, fluxes of 3 L m−2·h−1 were approximately obtained at operating conditions of 850 mg L−1 MLSS (mixed liquor suspended solids) concentration, 1 bar suction pressure (∆P), and 3000 L h−1 circulation rate. This developed MDJLR will make jet loop membrane bioreactors (JLMBRs) and MBRs more compact and improve their performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preventing Silica Scale Formation Using Hydroxide Ions Generated by Water Electrolysis
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110154 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
The reaction of silica with various cations in a solution and with hydroxide ions generated by water electrolysis was investigated as a means of preventing the formation of silica scales in geothermal binary power generation. Through batch and continuous experiments, it was found [...] Read more.
The reaction of silica with various cations in a solution and with hydroxide ions generated by water electrolysis was investigated as a means of preventing the formation of silica scales in geothermal binary power generation. Through batch and continuous experiments, it was found that all silica in the cathode phase of a reaction device could be removed if the necessary amounts of magnesium and calcium were present. This occurs because a silica-magnesium-calcium compound is produced via a polymerization reaction with cations in a solution and with hydroxide ions generated by electrolysis. Analysis by inductively coupled plasma and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy shows that this material has the formula 2CaO-5MgO-8SiO2-H2O, and thus is likely generated by the reaction proposed by Sheikholeslami et al. (2019). Increasing the current sent through the reaction solution subsequently produces calcium carbonate. This technique for the separation of silica and calcium from aqueous solutions can be operated continuously without channel clogging, which indicates the possibility of practical applications. However, overly high currents promote the migration of protons from the anode to cathode phases, which inhibits the formation of precipitates due to a neutralization reaction. The proposed method is an effective approach for removing silica from a solution in geothermal binary power generation; although, a means of suppressing the effects of proton generation will be necessary if the process is also to be used to remove calcium ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Engineering and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
How Molecular Weight Cut-Offs and Physicochemical Properties of Polyether Sulfone Membranes Affect Peptide Migration and Selectivity during Electrodialysis with Filtration Membranes
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110153 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Filtration membranes (FMs) are an integral part of electrodialysis with filtration membranes (EDFM), a green and promising technology for bioactive peptide fractionation. Therefore, it is paramount to understand how physicochemical properties of FMs impact global and selective peptide migration to anionic (A [...] Read more.
Filtration membranes (FMs) are an integral part of electrodialysis with filtration membranes (EDFM), a green and promising technology for bioactive peptide fractionation. Therefore, it is paramount to understand how physicochemical properties of FMs impact global and selective peptide migration to anionic (ARC) and cationic (C+RC) peptide recovery compartments during their simultaneous separation by EDFM. In this context, six polyether sulfone (PES) membranes with molecular weight cut-offs (MWCO) of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 300 kDa were characterized and used during EDFM to separate peptides from a complex whey protein hydrolysate. Surface charge, roughness, thickness and surface/pores nature of studied PES membranes were similar with small differences in conductivity, porosity and pore size distribution. Interestingly, global peptides migration to both recovery compartments increased linearly as a function of MWCO. However, peptide selectivity changed according to the recovery compartments and/or the peptide’s charge and MW with an increase in MWCO of FMs. Indeed, in ARC, the relative abundance (RA) of peptides having low negative charge and MW (IDALNENK and VLVLDTDYK) decreased (45% to 19%) with an increase in MWCO, while the opposite for peptides having high negative charge and MW (TPEVDDEALEK, TPEVDDEALEKFDK & VYVEELKPTPEGDLEILLQK) (increased from 16% to 43%). Concurrently, in C+RC, regardless of MWCO used, the highest RA was observed for peptides having low positive charge and MW (IPAVFK & ALPMHIR). It was the first time that the significant impact of charge, MWCO and pore size distribution of PES membranes on a wide range of MWCO was demonstrated on EDFM performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-Exchange Membranes and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Carbon Dioxide Loading on Removal of Heat Stable Salts from Amine Solvent by Electrodialysis
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110152 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Heat stable salts (HSS) formed and continuously accumulated in the amine-based solvents due to solvent degradation and impurities in the feed gas can dramatically change the efficiency of the amine scrubbing process. HSS can be removed by using different methods including membrane separation [...] Read more.
Heat stable salts (HSS) formed and continuously accumulated in the amine-based solvents due to solvent degradation and impurities in the feed gas can dramatically change the efficiency of the amine scrubbing process. HSS can be removed by using different methods including membrane separation such as electrodialysis (ED). In this work, we studied the effect of CO2 loading of the lean 30 wt % monoethanolamine (MEA) solution on the efficiency of HSS removal and MEA loss. In the model MEA solution containing HSS on the level of 48 meq/L, the carbon dioxide concentration was varied from 0.2 down to 0 mole (CO2)/mole (MEA). The reclaiming of model MEA solution was carried out by lab-scale two-stage ED unit when the concentrate stream after the first stage was additionally treated using ED (second stage) that allowed reducing MEA loss. It was shown that the decrease of carbon dioxide content from 0.2 down to 0 mole (CO2)/mole (MEA) resulted in a substantial reduction of both parameters—the MEA loss and the specific power consumption with respect to extracted HSS (from 140 down 37 kJ per 1 g of recovered HSS anions). This can be explained by the drop in the total concentration of ions formed by the interaction of MEA solution with carbon dioxide. However, the change of CO2 loading is associated with additional power consumption towards further solvent regeneration in the column. Based on the preliminary estimations of power consumption required for additional CO2 stripping with the respect to the power consumption of ED stage, it seems that lean solvent CO2 loading of 0.1 mole/mole provides an optimum for the power input at 25.9 MJ/kg(solvent). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-Exchange Membranes and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Novel Adsorbent on Membrane Fouling by Natural Organic Matter in Drinking Water Treatment
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110151 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Irreversible fouling of water filtration membranes reduces filter longevity and results in higher costs associated with membrane maintenance and premature replacement. The search for effective pretreatment methods to remove foulants that tend to irreversibly foul membranes is ongoing. In this study, a novel [...] Read more.
Irreversible fouling of water filtration membranes reduces filter longevity and results in higher costs associated with membrane maintenance and premature replacement. The search for effective pretreatment methods to remove foulants that tend to irreversibly foul membranes is ongoing. In this study, a novel adsorbent (Heated Aluminum Oxide Particles (HAOPs)) was deployed in a fully automated pilot system to remove natural organic matter (NOM) from the surface water source used at the UniVann water treatment plant (WTP) in Ullensaker County, Norway. The pilot plant treatment process consists of passing the water through a thin layer of HAOPs that has been deposited on a mesh support. The HAOPs layer acts as an active packed bed which removes NOM from the water. Fluxes around 120 L/m2/h (LMH) at transmembrane pressure (TMP) below 10.7 psi (0.7 bar) were achieved over production cycles excessing 12 h. Treatment achieved always >85% colour removal and effluent colour <5 mg Pt/L (the target of treatment), and always <0.01 NTU turbidity and non-detectable suspended solids in the permeate. The HAOPs mixture after saturated with NOM is easy to remove by disruption of the HAOPs by rinsing the mesh surface, and the sludge is easily dewatered to higher of dry solids content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EWM 2019: Membranes for a Sustainable Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Absorption of CO2 Enhanced by Nanoparticles Using a Membrane Contactor: Modeling and Simulation
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110150 - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
In the present work, membrane resistance was estimated and analyzed, and the results showed that total membrane resistance increased sharply when membrane pores were wetted. For further study, a two-dimensional (2D) mathematical model was developed to predict the chemical absorption of CO2 [...] Read more.
In the present work, membrane resistance was estimated and analyzed, and the results showed that total membrane resistance increased sharply when membrane pores were wetted. For further study, a two-dimensional (2D) mathematical model was developed to predict the chemical absorption of CO2 in aqueous methyldiethanolamine (MDEA)-based carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in a hollow fiber membrane (HFM) contactor. The membrane was divided into wet and dry regions, and equations were developed and solved using finite element method in COSMOL. The results revealed that the existence of solid nanoparticles enhanced CO2 removal rate. The variables with more significant influence were liquid flow rate and concentration of nanoparticles. Furthermore, there was a good match between experimental and modeling results, with the modeling estimates almost coinciding with experimental data. Solvent enhanced by solid nanoparticles significantly improved the separation performance of the membrane contactor. There was around 20% increase in CO2 removal when 0.5 wt% CNT was added to 5 wt% aqueous MDEA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Gas Separation)
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Open AccessEditorial
Mixed Matrix Membranes
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110149 - 10 Nov 2019
Abstract
In recent decades, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) have attracted considerable interest in research laboratories worldwide, motivated by the gap between the growing interest in developing novel mixed matrix membranes by various research groups and the lack of large-scale implementation. This Special Issue contains [...] Read more.
In recent decades, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) have attracted considerable interest in research laboratories worldwide, motivated by the gap between the growing interest in developing novel mixed matrix membranes by various research groups and the lack of large-scale implementation. This Special Issue contains six publications dealing with the current opportunities and challenges of mixed matrix membranes development and applications as solutions for the environmental and health challenges of 21st century society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mixed Matrix Membranes)
Open AccessArticle
Development and Characterization of an Enzyme Membrane Reactor for Fructo-Oligosaccharide Production
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110148 - 10 Nov 2019
Abstract
Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are linear fructans comprising 2–5 fructose units linked to a terminal glucose residue. They are widely used as food and feed additives due to their sweetness, low calorific value, and prebiotic properties. Here we describe the synthesis of FOS catalyzed by [...] Read more.
Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are linear fructans comprising 2–5 fructose units linked to a terminal glucose residue. They are widely used as food and feed additives due to their sweetness, low calorific value, and prebiotic properties. Here we describe the synthesis of FOS catalyzed by a cell-free crude enzyme solution containing recombinant fructosyltransferase (1-FFT) produced in the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. During the enzyme catalysis, glucose accumulates as a by-product and eventually inhibits FOS production. We therefore used an enzyme membrane reactor (EMR) to achieve the continuous removal of glucose and the simultaneous replenishment of sucrose. We observed a loss of flux during the reaction with the characteristics of complete pore blocking, probably caused by a combination of proteins (enzyme molecules) and polysaccharides (FOS). Such complex fouling mechanisms must be overcome to achieve the efficient production of FOS using EMR systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EWM 2019: Membranes for a Sustainable Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Nanofiltration of Succinic Acid in Strong Alkaline Conditions
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110147 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
Nanofiltration is considered to be an appropriate separation technique in the production of bio-based materials. For the utilization of process streams from the viscose-fiber production, understanding the separation behavior of organic compounds in highly alkaline solutions is necessary. Experiments with succinic acid in [...] Read more.
Nanofiltration is considered to be an appropriate separation technique in the production of bio-based materials. For the utilization of process streams from the viscose-fiber production, understanding the separation behavior of organic compounds in highly alkaline solutions is necessary. Experiments with succinic acid in sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solutions with varying concentrations up to 5 mol L−1 were performed with the NP030 membrane from Microdyn Nadir. Furthermore, experiments with aqueous disodium succinate and solutions of sodium sulfate in sodium hydroxide were carried out. The influence of concentration ratios and temperature was studied. The Spiegler and Kedem model as well as the Pusch model were applied to fit the experimental data. Additionally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and infrared (ATR–IR) measurements were performed to validate the chemical and thermomechanical stability of the membrane. The succinic acid retention varies with its degree of dissociation. In a fully dissociated form, the NaOH concentration shows no impact on the retention. In contrast, the retention of sulfate decreases with increasing NaOH concentration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Membrane Pore Size on the Clarification Performance of Grape Marc Extract by Microfiltration
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110146 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
The influence of membrane pore size on the permeate flux, fouling mechanism, and rejection of soluble and suspended solids, as well as of phenolics and anthocyanins, in the clarification of grape marc extract by microfiltration (MF) was studied. MF was operated by using [...] Read more.
The influence of membrane pore size on the permeate flux, fouling mechanism, and rejection of soluble and suspended solids, as well as of phenolics and anthocyanins, in the clarification of grape marc extract by microfiltration (MF) was studied. MF was operated by using three monotubular ceramic membranes with a pore size of 0.14, 0.2, and 0.8 µm, respectively, according to a batch concentration configuration in selected operating conditions (2.25 bar as operating pressure, 4.93 L/min as feed flow rate, and 25 °C as operating temperature). No significant differences in the permeate flux values were appreciated despite the difference in pore size. The mathematical analyses of the flux behavior revealed that intermediate pore blocking is the predominant mechanism for 0.14 and 0.2 µm membranes, whereas complete pore blocking prevails for the 0.8 µm membrane. Differences in the fouling mechanism were associated with differences in the total phenols rejection: the highest rejection was observed for the 0.8 µm membrane followed by 0.2 and 0.14 µm membranes. All selected membranes showed low rejection of sugars, with values lower than 10%, and no retention towards anthocyanins. All the clarified extracts showed a turbidity lower than 4.87 NTU. Based on the experimental results, the 0.14 µm membrane appeared as the best option for the clarification of grape marc extract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Engineering and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Custom-Made Ion Exchange Membranes at Laboratory Scale for Reverse Electrodialysis
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110145 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
Salinity gradient power is a renewable, non-intermittent, and neutral carbon energy source. Reverse electrodialysis is one of the most efficient and mature techniques that can harvest this energy from natural estuaries produced by the mixture of seawater and river water. For this, the [...] Read more.
Salinity gradient power is a renewable, non-intermittent, and neutral carbon energy source. Reverse electrodialysis is one of the most efficient and mature techniques that can harvest this energy from natural estuaries produced by the mixture of seawater and river water. For this, the development of cheap and suitable ion-exchange membranes is crucial for a harvest profitability energy from salinity gradients. In this work, both anion-exchange membrane and cation-exchange membrane based on poly(epichlorohydrin) and polyvinyl chloride, respectively, were synthesized at a laboratory scale (255 c m 2) by way of a solvent evaporation technique. Anion-exchange membrane was surface modified with poly(ethylenimine) and glutaraldehyde, while cellulose acetate was used for the cation exchange membrane structural modification. Modified cation-exchange membrane showed an increase in surface hydrophilicity, ion transportation and permselectivity. Structural modification on the cation-exchange membrane was evidenced by scanning electron microscopy. For the modified anion exchange membrane, a decrease in swelling degree and an increase in both the ion exchange capacity and the fixed charge density suggests an improved performance over the unmodified membrane. Finally, the results obtained in both modified membranes suggest that an enhanced performance in blue energy generation can be expected from these membranes using the reverse electrodialysis technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Preparation and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle
Gas Separation Silica Membranes Prepared by Chemical Vapor Deposition of Methyl-Substituted Silanes
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110144 - 03 Nov 2019
Abstract
The effect on the gas permeance properties and structural morphology of the presence of methyl functional groups in a silica membrane was studied. Membranes were synthesized via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) at 650 °C and atmospheric pressure using three silicon compounds with differing [...] Read more.
The effect on the gas permeance properties and structural morphology of the presence of methyl functional groups in a silica membrane was studied. Membranes were synthesized via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) at 650 °C and atmospheric pressure using three silicon compounds with differing numbers of methyl- and methoxy-functional groups: tetramethyl orthosilicate (TMOS), methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMOS), and dimethyldimethoxysilane (DMDMOS). The residence time of the silica precursors in the CVD process was adjusted for each precursor and optimized in terms of gas permeance and ideal gas selectivity criteria. Final H2 permeances at 600 °C for the TMOS-, MTMOS-, and DMDMOS-derived membranes were respectively 1.7 × 10−7, 2.4 × 10−7, and 4.4 × 10−8 mol∙m−2∙s−1∙Pa−1 and H2/N2 selectivities were 990, 740, and 410. The presence of methyl groups in the membranes fabricated with the MTMOS and DMDMOS precursors was confirmed via Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. From FTIR analysis, an increasing methyl signal in the silica structure was correlated with both an improvement in the hydrothermal stability and an increase in the apparent activation energy for hydrogen permeation. In addition, the permeation mechanism for several gas species (He, H2, Ne, CO2, N2, and CH4) was determined by fitting the gas permeance temperature dependence to one of three models: solid state, gas-translational, or surface diffusion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Composite Nafion Membranes with CaTiO3−δ Additive for Possible Applications in Electrochemical Devices
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110143 - 31 Oct 2019
Abstract
A composite membrane based on a Nafion polymer matrix incorporating a non-stoichiometric calcium titanium oxide (CaTiO3−δ) additive was synthesized and characterized by means of thermal analysis, dynamic mechanical analysis, and broadband dielectric spectroscopy at different filler contents; namely two concentrations of [...] Read more.
A composite membrane based on a Nafion polymer matrix incorporating a non-stoichiometric calcium titanium oxide (CaTiO3−δ) additive was synthesized and characterized by means of thermal analysis, dynamic mechanical analysis, and broadband dielectric spectroscopy at different filler contents; namely two concentrations of 5 and 10 wt.% of the CaTiO3−δ additive, with respect to the dry Nafion content, were considered. The membrane with the lower amount of additive displayed the highest water affinity and the highest conductivity, indicating that a too-high dose of additive can be detrimental for these particular properties. The mechanical properties of the composite membranes are similar to those of the plain Nafion membrane and are even slightly improved by the filler addition. These findings indicate that perovskite oxides can be useful as a water-retention and reinforcing additive in low-humidity proton-exchange membranes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perfluorosulfonic Acid Membranes Thermally Treated and Modified by Dopants with Proton-Acceptor Properties for Asparaginate and Potassium Ions Determination in Pharmaceuticals
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110142 - 30 Oct 2019
Abstract
The influence of incorporation of the dopants with proton-acceptor properties into perfluorosulfonic acid cation exchange membranes (MF-4SC and Nafion), and their treatment conditions on the characteristics of Donnan potential (DP)-sensors (analytical signal is the Donnan potential) in the aqueous solutions containing asparaginate and [...] Read more.
The influence of incorporation of the dopants with proton-acceptor properties into perfluorosulfonic acid cation exchange membranes (MF-4SC and Nafion), and their treatment conditions on the characteristics of Donnan potential (DP)-sensors (analytical signal is the Donnan potential) in the aqueous solutions containing asparaginate and potassium ions in a wide pH range was investigated. A silica, surface modified by 3-aminopropyl and 3-(2-imidazolin-1-yl)-propyl groups, was used as the dopant. The membranes were subjected to mechanical deformation and thermal treatment at various relative humidities. The relationship between water uptake and diffusion permeability of membranes subjected to modification and treatment and the cross sensitivity of DP-sensors based on them to counter and co-ions was studied. The multisensory systems for the simultaneous determination of asparaginate and potassium ions in a concentration range from 1.0 × 10−4 to 1.0 × 10−2 M and pH range from 4 to 8 were developed. An array of cross-sensitive DP-sensors based on MF-4SC membranes containing 3 wt.% SiO2 modified by 10 mol.% 3-aminopropyl and 3-(2-imidazolin-1-yl)-propyl was used for the potassium asparaginate hemihydrate and magnesium asparaginate pentahydrate determination in Panangin® (with an error of 2 and 4%, respectively). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-Exchange Membranes and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Antituberculosis Drug Interactions with Membranes: A Biophysical Approach Applied to Bedaquiline
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110141 - 30 Oct 2019
Abstract
This work focuses on the interaction of the novel and representative antituberculosis (anti-TB) drug bedaquiline (BDQ) with different membrane models of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. The effect of BDQ on eukaryotic cell membrane models was assessed using liposomes, namely, multilamellar vesicles (MLVs) made [...] Read more.
This work focuses on the interaction of the novel and representative antituberculosis (anti-TB) drug bedaquiline (BDQ) with different membrane models of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. The effect of BDQ on eukaryotic cell membrane models was assessed using liposomes, namely, multilamellar vesicles (MLVs) made of 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) and also a mixture of DMPC and cholesterol (CHOL) (8:2 molar ratio). To mimic the prokaryotic cell membrane, 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-rac-(1-glycerol) (DMPG) and 1,1′2,2′-tetra-oleoyl-cardiolipin (TOCL) were chosen. Powerful biophysical techniques were employed, including small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS), to understand the effect of BDQ on the nanostructure of the membrane models. The results showed that BDQ demonstrated a pronounced disordering effect in the bacterial cell membrane models, especially in the membrane model with cardiolipin (CL), while the human cell membrane model with large fractions of neutral phospholipids remained less affected. The membrane models and techniques provide detailed information about different aspects of the drug–membrane interaction, thus offering valuable information to better understand the effect of BDQ on their target membrane-associated enzyme as well as its side effects on the cardiovascular system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Preparation and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of CVD Silica Membranes Having High Hydrogen Permeance and Steam Durability and a Membrane Reactor for a Water Gas Shift Reaction
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110140 - 30 Oct 2019
Abstract
Water gas shift reaction of carbon monoxide (CO) with membrane reactors should be a promising method for hydrogen mass-production because of its high CO conversion, high hydrogen purity and low carbon dioxide emission. For developing such membrane reactors, we need hydrogen permselective membranes [...] Read more.
Water gas shift reaction of carbon monoxide (CO) with membrane reactors should be a promising method for hydrogen mass-production because of its high CO conversion, high hydrogen purity and low carbon dioxide emission. For developing such membrane reactors, we need hydrogen permselective membranes with high hydrogen permeance with order of 10−6 mol m−2 s−1 Pa−1 at 573 K and high steam durability. In this study, we have optimized the kind of substrates, precursors, vapor concentration, and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) time using the counter-diffusion CVD method for developing such membranes. The developed membrane prepared from hexamethyldisiloxane has a hydrogen permeance of 1.29 × 10−6 mol m−2 s−1 Pa−1 at 573 K and high steam durability. We also conducted water gas shift reactions with membrane reactors installed the developed silica membranes. The results indicated that reactions proceed efficiently with the conversion around 95–97%, hydrogen purity around 94%, and hydrogen recovery around 60% at space velocity (SV) 7000. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Conductive and Flexible Gel Polymer Electrolyte with Bis(Fluorosulfonyl)imide Lithium Salt via UV Curing for Li-Ion Batteries
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110139 - 30 Oct 2019
Abstract
A series of new self-standing gel polymer electrolytes (SGPEs) were fabricated by ultraviolet (UV) curing and investigated for application in flexible lithium-ion batteries. Compared with traditional gel polymer electrolytes (combine with solvents or plasticizers), these new SGPEs were prepared simply by curing different [...] Read more.
A series of new self-standing gel polymer electrolytes (SGPEs) were fabricated by ultraviolet (UV) curing and investigated for application in flexible lithium-ion batteries. Compared with traditional gel polymer electrolytes (combine with solvents or plasticizers), these new SGPEs were prepared simply by curing different weight ratios of lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (LiFSI) with a methacrylic linear monomer, poly (ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDMA). Noticeably, there were no solvents or plasticizers combined with the final SGPEs. Owing to this, the SGPEs showed high flexibility and strong mechanical stability. Some paramount physicochemical and electrochemical characters were observed. The SGPEs demonstrated good thermal stability below 150 °C and an extremely low glass transition temperature (Tg) (around −75 °C). Moreover, plastic crystal behaviors were also identified in this study. Ultimately, the SGPEs demonstrated excellent ionic conductivity at room temperature, which proves that these new SGPEs could be widely applied as a prospective electrolyte in flexible lithium-ion batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Preparation and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Comparison of a Laterally-Fed Membrane Chromatography (LFMC) Device with a Commercial Resin Packed Column
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110138 - 29 Oct 2019
Abstract
The use of conventional membrane adsorbers such as radial flow devices is largely restricted to flow-through applications, such as virus and endotoxin removal, as they fail to give acceptable resolution in bind-and-elute separations. Laterally-fed membrane chromatography or LFMC devices have been specifically developed [...] Read more.
The use of conventional membrane adsorbers such as radial flow devices is largely restricted to flow-through applications, such as virus and endotoxin removal, as they fail to give acceptable resolution in bind-and-elute separations. Laterally-fed membrane chromatography or LFMC devices have been specifically developed to combine high-speed with high-resolution. In this study, an LFMC device containing a stack of strong cation exchange membranes was compared with an equivalent resin packed column. Preliminary characterization experiments showed that the LFMC device had a significantly greater number of theoretical plates per metre than the column. These devices were used to separate a ternary model protein mixture consisting of ovalbumin, conalbumin and lysozyme. The resolution obtained with the LFMC device was better than that obtained with the column. For instance, the LFMC device could resolve lysozyme dimer from lysozyme monomer, which was not possible using the column. In addition, the LFMC device could be operated at lower pressure and at significantly higher flow rates. The devices were then compared based on an application case study, i.e., preparative separation of monoclonal antibody charge variants. The LFMC device gave significantly better separation of these variants than the column. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Chromatography for Biomolecules Purification)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrowinning of Iron from Spent Leaching Solutions Using Novel Anion Exchange Membranes
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110137 - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
In the Pyror process, electrowinning (EW) is used to recover acid and iron from spent leaching solutions (SLS), where a porous Terylene membrane acts as a separator between the cathode and anode. In this study, a novel anion exchange membrane (AEM)-based EW process [...] Read more.
In the Pyror process, electrowinning (EW) is used to recover acid and iron from spent leaching solutions (SLS), where a porous Terylene membrane acts as a separator between the cathode and anode. In this study, a novel anion exchange membrane (AEM)-based EW process is benchmarked against a process without and with a porous Terylene membrane by comparing the current efficiency, specific energy consumption (SEC), and sulfuric acid generation using an in-house constructed EW flow cell. Using an FAP-PK-130 commercial AEM, it was shown that the AEM-based process was more efficient than the traditional processes. Subsequently, 11 novel polybenzimidazole (PBI)-based blend AEMs were compared with the commercial AEM. The best performing novel AEM (BM-5), yielded a current efficiency of 95% at an SEC of 3.53 kWh/kg Fe, which is a 10% increase in current efficiency and a 0.72 kWh/kg Fe decrease in SEC when compared to the existing Pyror process. Furthermore, the use of the novel BM-5 AEM resulted in a 0.22 kWh/kg Fe lower SEC than that obtained with the commercial AEM, also showing mechanical stability in the EW flow cell. Finally, it was shown that below 5 g/L Fe, side reactions at the cathode resulted in a decrease in process efficiency, while 40 g/L yielded the highest efficiency and lowest SECs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EWM 2019: Membranes for a Sustainable Future)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Multilevel Structure of Sulfonated Syndiotactic-Polystyrene Model Polyelectrolyte Membranes Resolved by Extended Q-Range Contrast Variation SANS
Membranes 2019, 9(11), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110136 - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
Membranes based on sulfonated synditoactic polystyrene (s-sPS) were thoroughly characterized by contrast variation small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) over a wide Q-range in dry and hydrated states. Following special sulfonation and treatment procedures, s-sPS is an attractive material for fuel cells and energy storage [...] Read more.
Membranes based on sulfonated synditoactic polystyrene (s-sPS) were thoroughly characterized by contrast variation small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) over a wide Q-range in dry and hydrated states. Following special sulfonation and treatment procedures, s-sPS is an attractive material for fuel cells and energy storage applications. The film samples were prepared by solid-state sulfonation, resulting in uniform sulfonation of only the amorphous phase while preserving the crystallinity of the membrane. Fullerenes, which improve the resistance to oxidation decomposition, were incorporated in the membranes. The fullerenes seem to be chiefly located in the amorphous regions of the samples, and do not influence the formation and evolution of the morphologies in the polymer films, as no significant differences were observed in the SANS patterns compared to the fullerenes-free s-sPS membranes, which were investigated in a previous study. The use of uniaxially deformed film samples, and neutron contrast variation allowed for the identification and characterization of different structural levels with sizes between nm and μm, which form and evolve in both the dry and hydrated states. The scattering length density of the crystalline regions was varied using the guest exchange procedure between different toluene isotopologues incorporated into the sPS lattice, while the variation of the scattering properties of the hydrated amorphous regions was achieved using different H2O/D2O mixtures. Due to the deformation of the films, the scattering characteristics of different structures can be distinguished on specific detection sectors and at different detection distances after the sample, depending on their size and orientation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Materials for Next-Generation Fuel Cells)
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