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Membranes, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The incorporation of nanoparticles, nanosheets, and nanotubes into polymer matrices has been one [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Nanocellulose-Based Conductive Membranes for Free-Standing Supercapacitors: A Review
Received: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
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Abstract
There is currently strong demand for the development of advanced energy storage devices with inexpensive, flexibility, lightweight, and eco-friendly materials. Cellulose is considered as a suitable material that has the potential to meet the requirements of the advanced energy storage devices. Specifically, nanocellulose [...] Read more.
There is currently strong demand for the development of advanced energy storage devices with inexpensive, flexibility, lightweight, and eco-friendly materials. Cellulose is considered as a suitable material that has the potential to meet the requirements of the advanced energy storage devices. Specifically, nanocellulose has been shown to be an environmentally friendly material that has low density and high specific strength, Young’s modulus, and surface-to-volume ratio compared to synthetic materials. Furthermore, it can be isolated from a variety of plants through several simple and rapid methods. Cellulose-based conductive composite membranes can be assembled into supercapacitors to achieve free-standing, lightweight, and flexible energy storage devices. Therefore, they have attracted extensive research interest for the development of small-size wearable devices, implantable sensors, and smart skin. Various conductive materials can be loaded onto nanocellulose substrates to endow or enhance the electrochemical performance of supercapacitors by taking advantage of the high loading capacity of nanocellulose membranes for brittle conductive materials. Several factors can impact the electronic performance of a nanocellulose-based supercapacitor, such as the methods of loading conductive materials and the types of conductive materials, as will be discussed in this review. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Feed Solution Temperature on the Power Output Performance of a Pilot-Scale Reverse Electrodialysis (RED) System with Different Intermediate Distance
Received: 27 April 2019 / Revised: 10 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
Membrane-based reverse electrodialysis (RED) can convert the salinity gradient energy between two solutions into electric power without any environmental impact. Regarding the practical application of the RED process using natural seawater and river water, the RED performance depends on the climate (temperature). In [...] Read more.
Membrane-based reverse electrodialysis (RED) can convert the salinity gradient energy between two solutions into electric power without any environmental impact. Regarding the practical application of the RED process using natural seawater and river water, the RED performance depends on the climate (temperature). In this study, we have evaluated the effect of the feed solution temperature on the resulting RED performance using two types of pilot-scale RED stacks consisting of 200 cell pairs having a total effective membrane area of 40 m2 with different intermediate distances (200 µm and 600 µm). The temperature dependence of the resistance of the solution compartment and membrane, open circuit voltage (OCV), maximum gross power output, pumping energy, and subsequent net power output of the system was individually evaluated. Increasing the temperature shows a positive influence on all the factors studied, and interesting linear relationships were obtained in all the cases, which allowed us to provide simple empirical equations to predict the resulting performance. Furthermore, the temperature dependence was strongly affected by the experimental conditions, such as the flow rate and type of stack, especially in the case of the pilot-scale stack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Batteries)
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Open AccessArticle
Gas Permeation of Sulfur Thin-Films and Potential as a Barrier Material
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
Elemental sulfur was formed into poly(ether sulfone)-supported thin-films (ca. 10 µm) via a melt-casting process. Observed permeabilities of C2H4, CO2, H2, He, and N2 through the sulphur thin-films were <1 barrer. The sulfur thin-films [...] Read more.
Elemental sulfur was formed into poly(ether sulfone)-supported thin-films (ca. 10 µm) via a melt-casting process. Observed permeabilities of C2H4, CO2, H2, He, and N2 through the sulphur thin-films were <1 barrer. The sulfur thin-films were observed to age over a period of ca. 15 days, related to the reversion of polymerized sulfur to the S8 allotrope. This structural conversion was observed to correlate with an increase in the permeability of all gases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
LFP-Based Gravure Printed Cathodes for Lithium-Ion Printed Batteries
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
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Abstract
Printed batteries have undergone increased investigation in recent years because of the growing daily use of small electronic devices. With this in mind, industrial gravure printing has emerged as a suitable production technology due to its high speed and quality, and its capability [...] Read more.
Printed batteries have undergone increased investigation in recent years because of the growing daily use of small electronic devices. With this in mind, industrial gravure printing has emerged as a suitable production technology due to its high speed and quality, and its capability to produce any shape of image. The technique is one of the most appealing for the production of functional layers for many different purposes, but it has not been highly investigated. In this study, we propose a LiFePO4 (LFP)-based gravure printed cathode for lithium-ion rechargeable printed batteries and investigate the possibility of employing this printing technique in battery manufacture. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of a High Flux Nanocellulose–Cellulose Acetate Nanocomposite Membrane
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 6 June 2019
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Abstract
Despite the advantages of membrane processes, their high energy requirement remains a major challenge. Fabrication of nanocomposite membranes by incorporating various nanomaterials in the polymer matrix has shown promise for enhancing membrane flux. In this study, we embed functionalized cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) with [...] Read more.
Despite the advantages of membrane processes, their high energy requirement remains a major challenge. Fabrication of nanocomposite membranes by incorporating various nanomaterials in the polymer matrix has shown promise for enhancing membrane flux. In this study, we embed functionalized cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) with high aspect ratios in the polymer matrix to create hydrophilic nanochannels that reduce membrane resistance and facilitate the facile transport of water molecules through the membrane. The results showed that the incorporation of 0.1 wt % CNF into the polymer matrix did not change the membrane flux (~15 L · m 2 · h 1 ) and Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) Fraction V rejection, while increasing the CNF content to 0.3 wt % significantly enhanced the flux by seven times to ~100 L · m 2 · h 1 , but the rejection was decreased to 60–70%. Such a change in membrane performance was due to the formation of hydrophilic nanochannels by the incorporation of CNF (corroborated by the SEM images), decreasing the membrane resistance, and thus enhancing the flux. When the concentration of the CNF in the membrane matrix was further increased to 0.6 wt %, no further increase in the membrane flux was observed, however, the BSA rejection was found to increase to 85%. Such an increase in the rejection was related to the electrostatic repulsion between the negatively-charged CNF-loaded nanochannels and the BSA, as demonstrated by zeta potential measurements. SEM images showed the bridging effect of the CNF in the nanochannels with high CNF contents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Permeate Quality in Pilot Scale Membrane Distillation Systems
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
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Abstract
In this work, the salinity of permeate obtained with membrane distillation (MD) in pilot scale systems was analyzed. Experiments were performed with three different spiral-wound commercial modules, one from Solar Spring with 10 m2 surface membrane area and two from Aquastill with [...] Read more.
In this work, the salinity of permeate obtained with membrane distillation (MD) in pilot scale systems was analyzed. Experiments were performed with three different spiral-wound commercial modules, one from Solar Spring with 10 m2 surface membrane area and two from Aquastill with 7.2 and 24 m2. Intermittent operation meant that high permeate conductivity was measured in the beginning of each experiment, which was gradually decreasing until reaching a constant value (3–143 µS·cm−1 for seawater feed). The final quality reached did not depend on operating conditions, only the time it took to reach it. This can be because the permeate flux dilutes the minimal feed leak taking place through pinholes in the membranes. Larger feed leak through the membrane was observed when operating in vacuum-enhanced air-gap MD configuration (V-AGMD), which is compatible with this explanation. However, for the increase of feed leak with salinity (up to 1.8 M), a conclusive explanation cannot be given. Pore wetting due to crystallization is discarded because the high permeate quality was recovered after washing with distilled water. More studies at higher salinities and also at membrane level are required to investigate this. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Distillation Process)
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Open AccessArticle
Online Backwash Optimization of Membrane Filtration for Produced Water Treatment
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
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Abstract
In the offshore oil and gas sector, produced water is discharged into the sea, but increasing environmental concerns and stricter governmental regulations require new technologies to be considered. Membrane filtration is a promising technology to improve separation, but fouling of the membranes causes [...] Read more.
In the offshore oil and gas sector, produced water is discharged into the sea, but increasing environmental concerns and stricter governmental regulations require new technologies to be considered. Membrane filtration is a promising technology to improve separation, but fouling of the membranes causes a significant reduction in flow capacity. To reduce fouling, optimization of the backwashing parameters is given much attention. Comprehensive and time-consuming experiments are used to model the effect of backwashing, but most methods neglect time varying features present in the offshore produced water treatment train. In this paper, a backwashing scheduling algorithm is proposed, which dynamically selects the filtration and backwashing durations to maximize the average net permeate production. The proposed algorithm is tested on a lab-scaled pilot plant, where it was able to adapt as irreversible fouling accumulated and the OiW concentration changed. The paper concludes that the removal rate of oil fouling was observed to be dependent on the rate at which the backwashing pressure could be established. As the proposed method online adapts to the current conditions, it can improve the filtration capacity compared to cases with constant backwashing and filtration durations throughout the lifetime of the facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fouling and Cleaning in Membrane Processes, Volume II)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Influence of Surface Micro-Patterning and Hydrogel Coating on Colloidal Silica Fouling of Polyamide Thin-Film Composite Membranes
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract
In this work, colloidal fouling by silica particles of different sizes on micro-patterned pristine and poly-(N-isopropylacylamide)-coated polyamide (PA) thin-film composite (TFC) membranes was studied. The competing impacts of surface micro-patterning vs. surface chemical modification on enhancing antifouling propensity in unstirred dead-end [...] Read more.
In this work, colloidal fouling by silica particles of different sizes on micro-patterned pristine and poly-(N-isopropylacylamide)-coated polyamide (PA) thin-film composite (TFC) membranes was studied. The competing impacts of surface micro-patterning vs. surface chemical modification on enhancing antifouling propensity in unstirred dead-end filtration conditions were systematically explored. Spatially selective deposition of silica microparticles (500 nm), driven by unequal flow distribution, was observed on micro-patterned membranes such that silica particles accumulated preferentially within the surface pattern’s valleys, while keeping apexes regions not fouled. This interesting phenomenon may explain the substantially enhanced antifouling propensity of micro-patterned PA TFC membranes. A detailed mechanism for spatially selective deposition of silica microparticles is proposed. Furthermore, micro-imprinted surface patterns were revealed to influence deposition behavior/packing of silica nanoparticles (50 nm) resulting in very limited flux decline that was, almost, recovered under influence of triggering stirring stimulus during a continued silica filtration experiment. The current findings provide more insights into the potency of surface micro-patterning consolidated with hydrogel coating toward new fouling-resistant PA TFC membranes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Operating Conditions in a Pilot Scale Investigation of Hollow Fiber Forward Osmosis Membrane Modules
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
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Abstract
Although forward osmosis (FO) membranes have shown great promise for many applications, there are few studies attempting to create a systematization of the testing conditions at a pilot scale for FO membrane modules. To address this issue, hollow fiber forward osmosis (HFFO) membrane [...] Read more.
Although forward osmosis (FO) membranes have shown great promise for many applications, there are few studies attempting to create a systematization of the testing conditions at a pilot scale for FO membrane modules. To address this issue, hollow fiber forward osmosis (HFFO) membrane modules with different performances (water flux and solute rejection) have been investigated at different operating conditions. Various draw and feed flow rates, draw solute types and concentrations, transmembrane pressures, temperatures, and operation modes have been studied using two model feed solutions—deionized water and artificial seawater. The significance of the operational conditions in the FO process was attributed to a dominant role of concentration polarization (CP) effects, where the selected draw solute and draw concentration had the biggest impact on membrane performance due to internal CP. Additionally, the rejection of the HFFO membranes using three model solutes (caffeine, niacin, and urea) were determined under both FO and reverse osmosis (RO) conditions with the same process recovery. FO rejections had an increase of 2% for caffeine, 19% for niacin, and 740% for urea compared to the RO rejections. Overall, this is the first extensive study of commercially available inside-out HFFO membrane modules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forward Osmosis: Modelling and Applications)
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Membranes EISSN 2077-0375 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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