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Membranes, Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Hydrophobic pure-silica *BEA-type zeolite membranes with large pores were prepared on tubular [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Hybrid Hollow Fiber Nanofiltration–Calcite Contactor: A Novel Point-of-Entry Treatment for Removal of Dissolved Mn, Fe, NOM and Hardness from Domestic Groundwater Supplies
Received: 18 June 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 14 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Groundwater (GW) is one of the main potable water sources worldwide. However, the presence of undesirable compounds and particularly manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) (mainly co-existing in GWs) are considered as objectionable components of potable water for both health and aesthetic issues. As [...] Read more.
Groundwater (GW) is one of the main potable water sources worldwide. However, the presence of undesirable compounds and particularly manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) (mainly co-existing in GWs) are considered as objectionable components of potable water for both health and aesthetic issues. As such, individual dwellings supplied by domestic wells are especially threatened by these issues. Current domestic treatment technologies are complicated to operate and even dangerous if improperly maintained (e.g., catalytic filtration) or consume salts and produce spent brine which pollutes the environment (i.e., ion exchange resins). Therefore, it is of prime importance to design a simple and compact, yet robust, system for Mn and Fe control of the domestic GW sources, which can reliably guarantee the desired Mn limit in the finished water ( 20 μ g/L). In the course of this study, we demonstrated, for the first time, that a hybrid hollow fiber nanofiltration (HFNF)–calcite contactor process is a promising alternative for treating domestic GWs with elevated levels of Mn, Fe, natural organic matter (NOM) and hardness. The efficacy of the HFNF membranes in terms of removal of Mn, Fe, NOM and fouling was compared with commercially available NF270 and NF90 membranes. The results revealed that HFNF (100–200 Da) and NF90 maintained considerably high rejection of Mn, Fe and NOM due to their dominant sieving effect. In contrary, the rejections of the above-mentioned components were decreased in the presence of high hardness for the looser HFNF (200–300 Da) and NF270 membranes. No membrane fouling was detected and the permeate flux was stable when the hard GW was filtered with the HFNF membranes, regardless of their molecular weight cut-off and transmembrane pressure, while the permeability of the NF270 and NF90 membranes steadily decline during the filtration. Integrating a calcite contactor, as a post filtration step, to the HFNF process yielded further Mn, Fe and NOM removals from the HFNF permeate and adjustment of its hardness level. The best performance was achieved when a blend of Calcite–CorosexTM ( 90 / 10 wt . % ) was used as a post-treatment to the tight HFNF (100–200 Da). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
PVDF/Graphene Composite Nanoporous Membranes for Vanadium Flow Batteries
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
The development of chemically stable and high conductive membranes is one of the most important issues to improve the performance of vanadium flow batteries (VFBs). Herein, poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF)/graphene composite nanoporous membranes were easily fabricated by manipulating crystallization processes. The graphene was used [...] Read more.
The development of chemically stable and high conductive membranes is one of the most important issues to improve the performance of vanadium flow batteries (VFBs). Herein, poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF)/graphene composite nanoporous membranes were easily fabricated by manipulating crystallization processes. The graphene was used to enhance membrane selectivity and conductivity. In the nanoscale channels of the membranes, the graphene nanosheets reduced the apertures among the crystal grains, thus restraining vanadium ions crossover due to the size exclusion effect. Moreover, the oxygen groups on the graphene improved the surface hydrophilicity and formed hydrogen bonds with the PVDF polymer chains, which facilitated the proton transport. The composite membranes, with a 0.15 wt % graphene loading, showed a selectivity of 38.2 and conductivity of 37.1 mS/cm. The single cell exhibited a coulomb efficiency of 94.7%, a voltage efficiency of 88.5%, and an energy efficiency of 83.8%, which was 13% higher than that of the pristine PVDF membranes. The composite membranes showed excellent stability during 100 charge-discharge cycles. All these results indicate that the PVDF/graphene composite membrane is a promising candidate for VFB applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Preparation and Characterization)
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Open AccessReview
Metal Organic Framework Based Polymer Mixed Matrix Membranes: Review on Applications in Water Purification
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Polymeric membranes have been widely employed for water purification applications. However, the trade-off issue between the selectivity and permeability has limited its use in various applications. Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) were introduced to overcome this limitation and to enhance the properties and performance [...] Read more.
Polymeric membranes have been widely employed for water purification applications. However, the trade-off issue between the selectivity and permeability has limited its use in various applications. Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) were introduced to overcome this limitation and to enhance the properties and performance of polymeric membranes by incorporation of fillers such as silica and zeolites. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new class of hybrid inorganic–organic materials that are introduced as novel fillers for incorporation in polymeric matrix to form composite membranes for different applications especially water desalination. A major advantage of MOFs over other inorganic fillers is the possibility of preparing different structures with different pore sizes and functionalities, which are designed especially for a targeted application. Different MMMs fabrication techniques have also been investigated to fabricate MMMs with pronounced properties for a specific application. Synthesis techniques include blending, layer-by-layer (LBL), gelatin-assisted seed growth and in situ growth that proved to give the most homogenous dispersion of MOFs within the organic matrix. It was found that the ideal filler loading of MOFs in different polymeric matrices is 10%, increasing the filler loading beyond this value led to formation of aggregates that significantly decreased the MOFs-MMMs performance. Despite the many merits of MOFs-MMMs, the main challenge facing the upscaling and wide commercial application of MOFs-MMMs is the difficult synthesis conditions of the MOFs itself and the stability and sustainability of MOFs-MMMs performance. Investigation of new MOFs and MOFs-MMMs synthesis techniques should be carried out for further industrial applications. Among these new synthesis methods, green MOFs synthesis has been highlighted as low cost, renewable, environmentally friendly and recyclable starting materials for MOFs-MMMs. This paper will focus on the investigation of the effect of different recently introduced MOFs on the performance of MOFs-MMMs in water purification applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mixed Matrix Poly(Vinyl Alcohol)-Copper Nanofibrous Anti-Microbial Air-Microfilters
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Membranes decorated with biocide materials have shown great potential for air sanitization but can suffer from biocide agent leaching by dissolution in water. In order to tackle the diffusion of biocide metal ions from the fiber matrix, composite nanofiber membranes of poly(vinyl alcohol) [...] Read more.
Membranes decorated with biocide materials have shown great potential for air sanitization but can suffer from biocide agent leaching by dissolution in water. In order to tackle the diffusion of biocide metal ions from the fiber matrix, composite nanofiber membranes of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) cross-linked with copper (II) acetate have been successfully engineered via sol–gel electrospinning, providing a stable mean for air bactericidal microfiltration. The novelty lies in the bonding strength and homogeneous distribution of the fiber surface biocide, where biocide metals are incorporated as a sol within a polymer matrix. The electrospinning of bead-free composite nanofibers offered over 99.5% filtration efficiency for PM2.5, with a theoretical permeance above 98%. The PVA/copper nanofiber membranes also showed satisfactory anti-bacterial performance against the gram-negative Escherichia coli within 24 h, making them promising materials for the remediation of airborne bacteria. The mechanical and chemical stability of the engineered nanocomposite electrospun nanofiber webs added to the natural biodegradability of the materials, by offering ideal low-cost sanitary solutions for the application of air disinfection in both indoor and outdoor fitting a circular economy strategy where advanced materials are redesigned to be sustainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrophobic *BEA-Type Zeolite Membranes on Tubular Silica Supports for Alcohol/Water Separation by Pervaporation
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Hydrophobic pure-silica *BEA-type zeolite membranes with large pores were prepared on tubular silica supports by hydrothermal synthesis using a secondary growth method and were applied to the separation of alcohol/water mixtures by pervaporation (PV), an alternative energy-efficient process for production of biofuels. Amorphous [...] Read more.
Hydrophobic pure-silica *BEA-type zeolite membranes with large pores were prepared on tubular silica supports by hydrothermal synthesis using a secondary growth method and were applied to the separation of alcohol/water mixtures by pervaporation (PV), an alternative energy-efficient process for production of biofuels. Amorphous pure-silica tubular silica supports, free of Al atoms, were used for preparing the membranes. In this study, the effects of the synthesis conditions, such as the H2O/SiO2 and NH4F/SiO2 ratios in the synthetic gel, on the membrane formation process and separation performance were systematically investigated. The successfully prepared dense and continuous membranes exhibited alcohol selectivity and high flux for the separation of ethanol/water and butanol/water mixtures. The pure-silica *BEA membranes obtained under optimal conditions (0.08SiO2:0.5TEAOH:0.7NH4F:8H2O) showed high PV performance with a separation factor of 229 and a flux of 0.62 kg·m−2·h−1 for a 1 wt % n-butanol/water mixture at 318 K. This result was attributed to the hydrophobicity and large pore size of the pure-silica *BEA membrane. This was the first successful synthesis of hydrophobic large-pore zeolite membranes on tubular supports with alcohol selectivity, and the obtained results could provide new insights into the research on hydrophobic membranes with high permeability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of the Fouling Layer on the Membrane Surface in a Membrane Bioreactor: Evolution of the Foulants’ Composition and Aggregation Ability
Received: 9 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
In this study, the characteristics of membrane foulants were analyzed with regard to morphology, composition, and aggregation ability during the three stages of transmembrane pressure (TMP) development (fast–slow–fast rise in TMP) in a steady operational membrane bioreactor (MBR). The results obtained show that [...] Read more.
In this study, the characteristics of membrane foulants were analyzed with regard to morphology, composition, and aggregation ability during the three stages of transmembrane pressure (TMP) development (fast–slow–fast rise in TMP) in a steady operational membrane bioreactor (MBR). The results obtained show that the fouling layer at the slow TMP-increase stage possessed a higher average roughness (71.27 nm) and increased fractal dimension (2.33), which resulted in a low membrane fouling rate (0.87 kPa/d). A higher extracellular DNA (eDNA) proportion (26.12%) in the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) resulted in both higher zeta potential (-23.3 mV) and higher hydrophobicity (82.3%) for initial foulants, which induced and increased the protein proportion in the subsequent fouling layer (74.11%). Furthermore, the main composition of the EPS shifted from protein toward polysaccharide dominance in the final fouling layer. The aggregation test confirmed that eDNA was essential for foulant aggregation in the initial fouling layer, whereas ion interaction significantly affected foulant aggregation in the final fouling layer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transport Characteristics of Fujifilm Ion-Exchange Membranes as Compared to Homogeneous Membranes АМХ and СМХ and to Heterogeneous Membranes MK-40 and MA-41
Received: 15 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
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Abstract
Ion-exchange membranes (IEMs) find more and more applications; the success of an application depends on the properties of the membranes selected for its realization. For the first time, the results of a comprehensive characterization of the transport properties of IEMs from three manufactures [...] Read more.
Ion-exchange membranes (IEMs) find more and more applications; the success of an application depends on the properties of the membranes selected for its realization. For the first time, the results of a comprehensive characterization of the transport properties of IEMs from three manufactures (Astom, Japan; Shchekinoazot, Russia; and Fujifilm, The Netherlands) are reported. Our own and literature data are presented and analyzed using the microheterogeneous model. Homogeneous Neosepta AMX and CMX (Astom), heterogeneous MA-41 and MK-40 (Shchekinoazot), and AEM Type-I, AEM Type-II, AEM Type-X, as well as CEM Type-I, CEM Type-II, and CEM Type-X produced by the electrospinning method (Fujifim) were studied. The concentration dependencies of the conductivity, diffusion permeability, as well as the real and apparent ion transport numbers in these membranes were measured. The counterion transport number characterizing the membrane permselectivity increases in the following order: CEM Type-I ≅ MA-41 < AEM Type-I < MK-40 < CMX ≅ CEM Type-II ≅ CEM Type-X ≅ AEM Type-II < AMX < AEM Type-X. It is shown that the properties of the AEM Type-I and CEM Type-I membranes are close to those of the heterogeneous MA-41 and MK-40 membranes, while the properties of Fujifilm Type-II and Type-X membranes are close to those of the homogeneous AMX and CMX membranes. This difference is related to the fact that the Type-I membranes have a relatively high parameter f2, the volume fraction of the electroneutral solution filling the intergel spaces. This high value is apparently due to the open-ended pores, formed by the reinforcing fabric filaments of the Type-I membranes, which protrude above the surface of these membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Engineering)
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Open AccessReview
Composite Membranes for High Temperature PEM Fuel Cells and Electrolysers: A Critical Review
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
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Abstract
Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells and electrolysers offer efficient use and production of hydrogen for emission-free transport and sustainable energy systems. Perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes like Nafion® and Aquivion® are the state-of-the-art PEMs, but there is a need to increase [...] Read more.
Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells and electrolysers offer efficient use and production of hydrogen for emission-free transport and sustainable energy systems. Perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes like Nafion® and Aquivion® are the state-of-the-art PEMs, but there is a need to increase the operating temperature to improve mass transport, avoid catalyst poisoning and electrode flooding, increase efficiency, and reduce the cost and complexity of the system. However, PSFAs-based membranes exhibit lower mechanical and chemical stability, as well as proton conductivity at lower relative humidities and temperatures above 80 °C. One approach to sustain performance is to introduce inorganic fillers and improve water retention due to their hydrophilicity. Alternatively, polymers where protons are not conducted as hydrated H3O+ ions through liquid-like water channels as in the PSFAs, but as free protons (H+) via Brønsted acid sites on the polymer backbone, can be developed. Polybenzimidazole (PBI) and sulfonated polyetheretherketone (SPEEK) are such materials, but need considerable acid doping. Different composites are being investigated to solve some of the accompanying problems and reach sufficient conductivities. Herein, we critically discuss a few representative investigations of composite PEMs and evaluate their significance. Moreover, we present advances in introducing electronic conductivity in the polymer binder in the catalyst layers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Materials for Next-Generation Fuel Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Blend Composition and Silica Nanoparticles on the Morphology and Gas Separation Performance of PU/PVA Blend Membranes
Received: 20 May 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 5 July 2019
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Abstract
Polymer blending and mixed-matrix membranes are well-known modification techniques for tuning the gas separation properties of polymer membranes. Here, we studied the gas separation performance of mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) based on the polyurethane/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PU/PVA) blend containing silica nanoparticles. Pure (CO2, [...] Read more.
Polymer blending and mixed-matrix membranes are well-known modification techniques for tuning the gas separation properties of polymer membranes. Here, we studied the gas separation performance of mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) based on the polyurethane/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PU/PVA) blend containing silica nanoparticles. Pure (CO2, CH4, N2, O2) and mixed-gas (CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4) permeability experiments were carried out at 10 bar and 35 °C. Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) with a molecular weight of 200 kDa (PVA200) was blended with polyurethane (PU) to increase the CO2 solubility, while the addition of silica particles to the PU/PVA blend membranes augmented the CO2 separation performance. The SEM images of the membranes showed that the miscibility of the blend improved by increasing the PVA contents. The membrane containing 10 wt % of PVA200 (PU/PVA200–10) exhibited the highest CO2/N2~32.6 and CO2/CH4~9.5 selectivities among other blend compositions, which increased to 45.1 and 15.2 by incorporating 20 wt % nano-silica particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Membrane Technologies for CO2 Separation)
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Cation Structure in CO2 Separation by Ionic Liquid/Sulfonated Polyimide Composite Membrane
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
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Abstract
The development of suitable separation technologies for the separation of carbon dioxide is a pressing technological requirement. The application of ion gel membranes for this purpose continues to stimulate a great deal of research, and in this study we focus on the chemical [...] Read more.
The development of suitable separation technologies for the separation of carbon dioxide is a pressing technological requirement. The application of ion gel membranes for this purpose continues to stimulate a great deal of research, and in this study we focus on the chemical structure of the ionic liquid component in the ion gel, and its interactions with the sulfonated polyimide polymer. Whilst such membranes are known to give promising carbon dioxide separation properties together with mechanical strength and thin-film-processability, we further elaborate on how changing the cation of the ionic liquid from a typical imidazolium cation to a protic variant effects the physicochemical, thermal, and structural properties of the membranes, and how these changes further influence the carbon dioxide separation properties. We compare and contrast our findings with our earlier study on protic and aprotic ammonium-based ionic liquids, and highlight that for CO2 absorption behavior in the imidazolium systems, the importance of directionality of interactions (ion pairs exhibit a large energy stabilization only for a specific geometrical arrangement of cation and anion, e.g., hydrogen bonding rather than Coulombic interaction) between cation and anion applies not only to the protic system, but also to the nominally aprotic cation. Finally, we demonstrate that the phase separation behavior in the ion gels is an important factor in determining the carbon dioxide separation behavior. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Technical Concepts for the Investigation of Spatial Effects in Spiral-Wound Microfiltration Membranes
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 28 June 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
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Abstract
Existing works on the influence of spatial effects on flux and permeation of proteins in microfiltration (MF) have focused on ceramic membranes. There is little information on spiral-wound membranes (SWMs). Since the inner core of a SWM is practically inaccessible by non-destructive techniques, [...] Read more.
Existing works on the influence of spatial effects on flux and permeation of proteins in microfiltration (MF) have focused on ceramic membranes. There is little information on spiral-wound membranes (SWMs). Since the inner core of a SWM is practically inaccessible by non-destructive techniques, three different prototypes were constructed in this study to optimize suitability for the investigation of spatial effects on filtration performance. To measure the pressure drop, shortened SWMs 0.25, 0.50, and 0.75 times the length of a standard industrial SWM (0.96 m) were designed. Second, a sectioned membrane (0.96 m) with separated compartments on the permeate side was constructed to analyze spatial effects on flux and protein permeation along the flow path of a SWM. Three different features characterized this sectioned module: sectioned permeate pockets, a sectioned permeate collection tube, and sectioned permeate drain and measurement systems. Crossflow filtration experiments showed that these modifications did not alter the filtration performance compared to an unmodified control SWM. Thus, it can be applied to assess spatially-resolved filtration performance in SWMs. The third prototype designed was a test cell with accessible flat sheet membranes and spacer material, as in SWMs. The flow path in this test cell was designed to match the characteristics of the channels between the membrane sheets in a standard SWM as closely as possible. The flow path length and the combination of membrane material and spacer architecture were the same as in the control SWM. This test cell was designed to assess the effects of length and processing conditions on the formation of a deposit layer. The combined results of these test modules can yield new insights into the spatial distribution of flux, permeation of target components, and deposit formation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Performance of 6FDA-Based Polyimide-Ionenes and Composites with Ionic Liquids as Gas Separation Membranes
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 29 June 2019 / Published: 3 July 2019
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Abstract
Three new isomeric 6FDA-based polyimide-ionenes, with imidazolium moieties and varying regiochemistry (para-, meta-, and ortho- connectivity), and composites with three different ionic liquids (ILs) have been developed as gas separation membranes. The structural-property relationships and gas separation behaviors of the newly developed [...] Read more.
Three new isomeric 6FDA-based polyimide-ionenes, with imidazolium moieties and varying regiochemistry (para-, meta-, and ortho- connectivity), and composites with three different ionic liquids (ILs) have been developed as gas separation membranes. The structural-property relationships and gas separation behaviors of the newly developed 6FDA polyimide-ionene + IL composites have been extensively studied. All the 6FDA-based polyimide-ionenes exhibited good compatibility with the ILs and produced homogeneous hybrid membranes with the high thermal stability of ~380 °C. Particularly, [6FDA I4A pXy][Tf2N] ionene + IL hybrids having [C4mim][Tf2N] and [Bnmim][Tf2N] ILs offered mechanically stable matrixes with high CO2 affinity. The permeability of CO2 was increased by factors of 2 and 3 for C4mim and Bnmim hybrids (2.15 to 6.32 barrers), respectively, compared to the neat [6FDA I4A pXy][Tf2N] without sacrificing their permselectivity for CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 gas pairs. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review on Inorganic Nanoparticles Modified Composite Membranes for Lithium-Ion Batteries: Recent Progress and Prospects
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 2 July 2019
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Abstract
Separators with high porosity, mechanical robustness, high ion conductivity, thin structure, excellent thermal stability, high electrolyte uptake and high retention capacity is today’s burning research topic. These characteristics are not easily achieved by using single polymer separators. Inorganic nanoparticle use is one of [...] Read more.
Separators with high porosity, mechanical robustness, high ion conductivity, thin structure, excellent thermal stability, high electrolyte uptake and high retention capacity is today’s burning research topic. These characteristics are not easily achieved by using single polymer separators. Inorganic nanoparticle use is one of the efforts to achieve these attributes and it has taken its place in recent research. The inorganic nanoparticles not only improve the physical characteristics of the separator but also keep it from dendrite problems, which enhance its shelf life. In this article, use of inorganic particles for lithium-ion battery membrane modification is discussed in detail and composite membranes with three main types including inorganic particle-coated composite membranes, inorganic particle-filled composite membranes and inorganic particle-filled non-woven mates are described. The possible advantages of inorganic particles application on membrane morphology, different techniques and modification methods for improving particle performance in the composite membrane, future prospects and better applications of ceramic nanoparticles and improvements in these composite membranes are also highlighted. In short, the contents of this review provide a fruitful source for further study and the development of new lithium-ion battery membranes with improved mechanical stability, chemical inertness and better electrochemical properties. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Thermodynamic Insights for Electrochemical Hydrogen Compression with Proton-Conducting Membranes
Received: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 1 July 2019
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Abstract
Membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) based on proton-conducting electrolyte membranes offer opportunities for the electrochemical compression of hydrogen. Mechanical hydrogen compression, which is more-mature technology, can suffer from low reliability, noise, and maintenance costs. Proton-conducting electrolyte membranes may be polymers (e.g., Nafion) or protonic-ceramics [...] Read more.
Membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) based on proton-conducting electrolyte membranes offer opportunities for the electrochemical compression of hydrogen. Mechanical hydrogen compression, which is more-mature technology, can suffer from low reliability, noise, and maintenance costs. Proton-conducting electrolyte membranes may be polymers (e.g., Nafion) or protonic-ceramics (e.g., yttrium-doped barium zirconates). Using a thermodynamics-based analysis, the paper explores technology implications for these two membrane types. The operating temperature has a dominant influence on the technology, with polymers needing low-temperature and protonic-ceramics needing elevated temperatures. Polymer membranes usually require pure hydrogen feed streams, but can compress H 2 efficiently. Reactors based on protonic-ceramics can effectively integrate steam reforming, hydrogen separation, and electrochemical compression. However, because of the high temperature (e.g., 600 ° C) needed to enable viable proton conductivity, the efficiency of protonic-ceramic compression is significantly lower than that of polymer-membrane compression. The thermodynamics analysis suggests significant benefits associated with systems that combine protonic-ceramic reactors to reform fuels and deliver lightly compressed H 2 (e.g., 5 bar) to an electrochemical compressor using a polymer electrolyte to compress to very high pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Membranes and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Purification of Pharmaceutical Solvents by Pervaporation through Hybrid Silica Membranes
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 1 July 2019
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Abstract
Solvents purification mainly used in pharmaceutical field such as acetone and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) were performed through hybrid silica membranes and from binary and multi-components mixtures. Two hybrid silica membranes—zirconia doped bis(triethoxysilyl)methane and bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane (BTESE)—were studied. Flux, permeance, and separation factor were [...] Read more.
Solvents purification mainly used in pharmaceutical field such as acetone and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) were performed through hybrid silica membranes and from binary and multi-components mixtures. Two hybrid silica membranes—zirconia doped bis(triethoxysilyl)methane and bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane (BTESE)—were studied. Flux, permeance, and separation factor were evaluated depending on temperature, composition, and number of organic compounds in the feed. Dehydration tests of acetone were operated at 30 and 45 °C following by acetone and MEK purification at 50 °C from multi-components hydro-organic mixtures where hydrophilic compounds (water, methanol) but also hydrophobic (dichloromethane (DCM) and/or toluene) were present. Results showed that the presence of Zr nanoparticles affected flux and improved selectivity in the case of dehydration. Experiments related to acetone and MEK purification, revealed a mass transfer alteration and a decrease of performance, from 99 to 97 wt% and from 98 to 95 wt% respectively, when the number of compounds in the initial feed grown up and more precisely, in the presence of DCM and toluene thus highlighting a possible coupling effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Point-of-use Membrane Technologies: Challenges and Opportunities)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Numerical Estimation of Limiting Current Density by Focusing on Mass Transfer within Porous Spacers in an Electro-Dialysis
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
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Abstract
Estimating and increasing limiting current density (LCD) levels is of fundamental importance for the development of electrodialysis (ED) systems, and it is becoming clear that the use of porous spacers can significantly increase such LCD levels. In this study, a three-dimensional numerical simulation [...] Read more.
Estimating and increasing limiting current density (LCD) levels is of fundamental importance for the development of electrodialysis (ED) systems, and it is becoming clear that the use of porous spacers can significantly increase such LCD levels. In this study, a three-dimensional numerical simulation was proposed for evaluating the mass transfer within a porous spacer unit cell and for estimating LCD levels. It was found that our proposed method is effective for estimating the minimum value of an LCD, which is a significant factor related to the safe operation of ED systems. Furthermore, it was found that increasing the minimum effective Sherwood number provides a key to increasing LCD levels. Porous spacer design guidelines were proposed based on the numerical simulation results, after which a new spacer was introduced, designed according to those guidelines. It was found that flow disturbances on the membrane caused by porous spacer structures can lead to increases in effective Sherwood numbers and that LCD levels could be increased by eliminating the flow stagnation behind the structures on the membrane. The LCD of our new spacer was found to be higher than that of the spacers with the highest LCD levels in use at present. Therefore, we can conclude that the proposed design guidelines are effective for increasing LCD levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Exchange Membranes for Water Treatment)
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