Special Issue "Membrane Separation Techniques – Optimization and Application"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Chris Wright
Website
Guest Editor
Biomaterials, Biofouling and Biofilms Engineering Laboratory (B3EL), The Systems and Process Engineering Centre (SPEC), College of Engineering, Swansea University, Fabian Way, Swansea SA18EN, UK
Interests: Chris Wright’s laboratory focuses on the characterization and control of biological interactions within bioprocess engineering and medicine. This control is focused on fabrication and modification of polymer surfaces. His research interests include Atomic force microscopy, Membrane Separation, Scaffolds for tissue engineering, Collagen, Biofilms, Electrospinning
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce an upcoming Special Issue focusing on “Membrane Separation Techniques—Optimization and Application”, with Guest Editor Chris Wright. It is our pleasure to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue.

Membrane separation is an established technique used for processing in a wide range of industries, including water treatment, energy generation, biotechnology, food processing, and pharmaceutical production. This is a consequence of the versatility and advantages of membrane separation, and many processes have been developed that include microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, forward osmosis, and membrane distillation. These membrane process can be applied in different configurations and operation modes. However, the underlying scientific principle of a membrane process is a selective separation achieved due to physical and chemical differences between a membrane, solute(s), and a solvent. A driving force is applied, and the solute can either be retained by the membrane or pass through with the solvent depending on its size, charge, activity, or partial pressure. The use of membranes has many advantages over more conventional methods such as distillation and chemical extraction, which include high selectivity, relatively low operating costs, with low energy usage, process versatility, and modular design. The science of membrane separation techniques is being applied more and more in industrial applications to exploit the advantages of membrane technologies. Hence, the rationale for this Special Issue that will act as a forum to present the latest developments and opportunities for the application of membrane separation techniques.

We therefore invite authors globally to contribute original research articles and review papers defining the most recent developments and ideas in the application and optimisation of membrane separation techniques.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Development of membrane separation techniques
  • Application of membrane techniques
  • Optimisation methods for improved application of membranes
  • Characterisation of membranes
  • Novel configuration of membrane processes
  • Fabrication and modification of membranes
  • Case study of membranes applied in industry
  • Fouling/biofouling of membranes
Dr. Chris Wright
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Membranes
  • Separation
  • Water treatment
  • Fouling
  • Biofouling
  • Microfiltration
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Nanofiltration
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Forward osmosis
  • Membrane distillation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Treatment of Wastewater Solutions from Anodizing Industry by Membrane Distillation and Membrane Crystallization
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9020287 - 15 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The treatment of wastewater containing various metal ions is a challenging issue in the anodizing industry. The current study investigates the application of membrane distillation/crystallization (MD/MCr) for the simultaneous recovery of freshwater and sodium sulfate from wastewater originating from a Danish anodizing industry. [...] Read more.
The treatment of wastewater containing various metal ions is a challenging issue in the anodizing industry. The current study investigates the application of membrane distillation/crystallization (MD/MCr) for the simultaneous recovery of freshwater and sodium sulfate from wastewater originating from a Danish anodizing industry. MD/MCr experiments were performed on supernatant from wastewater obtained after centrifugation. The effect of various feed temperatures and cross-flow velocities on flux and crystal characteristics was investigated. The crystal growth in the feed tank was monitored through the use of an online PaticleView microscope. The crystals’ morphology and form were determined by using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), respectively, while inductively coupled plasma (ICP) was applied to determine the purity of the obtained crystals. The weight and dimensions of the MD/MCr unit that were required to treat the specific amount of wastewater were evaluated as a function of the feed inlet temperature. It was demonstrated that the application of MCr allows extracting high-purity sodium sulfate crystals and more than 80% freshwater from the wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Separation Techniques – Optimization and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Model of Pressure Decay in Pressure-Driven Membrane Integrity Tests Based on the Bubble Dynamic Process
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9020273 - 14 Jan 2019
Abstract
The membrane integrity is estimated using a pressure decay test based on the bubble dynamic process of membrane defects. The present work builds a schematic diagram for a bubble formation model of a pressure decay test, proposes a simulation model of pressure decay [...] Read more.
The membrane integrity is estimated using a pressure decay test based on the bubble dynamic process of membrane defects. The present work builds a schematic diagram for a bubble formation model of a pressure decay test, proposes a simulation model of pressure decay rate (PDR) in the membrane gas chamber by means of numerical simulation using microdefect bubble dynamic behavior, and tries to establish the main factors influencing the back-calculated defect size resolution. Results obtained from the variations in the membrane gas chamber pressure and the PDR allowed for accurate determination of the membrane defect size, and the PDR was found to be relatively dependent on the gas chamber volume and the initial applied test pressure. The measured data about PDR using controlled experimental parameters was in good agreement with the trend found in the prediction model, proving that the pressure decay test process is in essence a bubble dynamic process. Furthermore, the back-calculated defect size resolution was found to decrease with the increase in gas chamber volume and PDR as well as with the decrease in applied pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Separation Techniques – Optimization and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Hydrodynamic Effects of Gas Permeation in a Pilot-Scale Fluidized Bed Membrane Reactor
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9010067 - 25 Dec 2018
Abstract
This study experimentally investigates the effects of gas extraction/addition, via multiple vertical membrane panels, on the hydrodynamics in different regions of a pilot-scale gas fluidized bed membrane reactor (FBMR), based on differential pressure signals measured at different vertical bed sections at high temperature. [...] Read more.
This study experimentally investigates the effects of gas extraction/addition, via multiple vertical membrane panels, on the hydrodynamics in different regions of a pilot-scale gas fluidized bed membrane reactor (FBMR), based on differential pressure signals measured at different vertical bed sections at high temperature. In a bed section where membrane panels were installed and activated, the extraction of gas caused the average bubble size to increase, but decreased the number of small- and medium-sized bubbles. This effect of gas extraction penetrated into bed sections above the active membrane panel, but attenuated with increasing distance away from the extraction location. The attenuation rate was much faster in FBMR with lower bed voidage, mainly due to the large decrease of the drag force exerted by gas extraction on fluidizing gas in a denser bed. With the same inlet gas velocity, gas addition favored the growth of bubbles, especially in the upper bed sections compared with operation without gas permeation. The increase of the effective fluidizing velocity was the major reason for the increase of the bubble size during gas addition. These findings preliminarily suggest that membrane units should not be installed in or below fast-reacting zones in a scale-up FBMR, and operation with a lower bed voidage is preferable to avoid the formation of large bubbles enhanced by gas extraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Separation Techniques – Optimization and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of a High-Performance Porous Ceramic Membrane by a Two-Step Coating Method and One-Step Sintering
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9010052 - 24 Dec 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Hole defects and uneven membrane thicknesses can lead to poor performance, especially in the separation stability of ceramic membranes. This paper uses a one-step sintering method, which avoids hole defects and uneven membrane thicknesses, for the preparation of high-performance and defect-free ceramic membranes. [...] Read more.
Hole defects and uneven membrane thicknesses can lead to poor performance, especially in the separation stability of ceramic membranes. This paper uses a one-step sintering method, which avoids hole defects and uneven membrane thicknesses, for the preparation of high-performance and defect-free ceramic membranes. For this purpose, two kinds of ceramic membrane slurry with high or low viscosities were prepared by alumina particles, as raw materials. Both the effects of the two coating process with a one-step coating method for low-viscosity slurry, and the two-step coating method with a high viscosity flush after a low viscosity coating, on the surface properties of a ceramic membrane, were studied in detail. The result shows that the properties of ceramic membranes can be improved by a two-step coating method, with a high viscosity flush after a low viscosity coating, A high-performance and defect-free ceramic membrane was obtained by one-step sintering at 1450 °C for 2 hr with 7 wt % solid content and a coating time of 11 s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Separation Techniques – Optimization and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Management of Waste Streams from Dairy Manufacturing Operations Using Membrane Filtration and Dissolved Air Flotation
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(12), 2694; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8122694 - 19 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Membrane filtration can provide a significant role in the management of waste streams from food manufacturing operations. The objective of this research was to evaluate the reductions in the organic content of waste streams accomplished when using membrane filtration. Reductions in Chemical Oxygen [...] Read more.
Membrane filtration can provide a significant role in the management of waste streams from food manufacturing operations. The objective of this research was to evaluate the reductions in the organic content of waste streams accomplished when using membrane filtration. Reductions in Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) by membrane filtration were compared to a Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) system. Membranes with six different pore sizes (200, 20, 8, 4, 0.083, and 0.058 kDa) were evaluated. In addition, the various membrane treatments were applied after the DAF as an additional level of comparison. The DAF treatment provided 75.15 ± 3.95% reduction in COD, and the reduction in COD improved from 85% to 99% as the membrane pore size decreased. When all membranes were used after a DAF pre-treatment, a reduction in COD to less than 1200 ppm in the permeate stream was achieved. These reductions were independent of the COD in the feed stream. The membrane fouling rates were evaluated for the membranes with the four largest pore-sizes membranes. The membranes with 20 kDa pore-size had the lowest fouling rates during extended fouling-rate studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Separation Techniques – Optimization and Application)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Native Nanodiscs and the Convergence of Lipidomics, Metabolomics, Interactomics and Proteomics
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(6), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9061230 - 24 Mar 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The omics disciplines remain largely distinct sciences due to the necessity of separating molecular classes for different assays. For example, water-soluble and lipid bilayer-bound proteins and metabolites are usually studied separately. Nonetheless, it is at the interface between these sciences where biology happens. [...] Read more.
The omics disciplines remain largely distinct sciences due to the necessity of separating molecular classes for different assays. For example, water-soluble and lipid bilayer-bound proteins and metabolites are usually studied separately. Nonetheless, it is at the interface between these sciences where biology happens. That is, lipid-interacting proteins typically recognize and transduce signals and regulate the flow of metabolites in the cell. Technologies are emerging to converge the omics. It is now possible to separate intact membrane:protein assemblies (memteins) directly from intact cells or cell membranes. Such complexes mediate complete metabolon, receptor, channel, and transporter functions. The use of poly(styrene-co-maleic acid) (SMA) copolymers has allowed their separation in a single step without any exposure to synthetic detergents or artificial lipids. This is a critical development as these agents typically strip away biological lipids, signals, and metabolites from their physiologically-relevant positions on proteins. The resulting SMA lipid particles (SMALPs) represent native nanodiscs that are suitable for elucidation of structures and interactions that occur in vivo. Compatible tools for resolving the contained memteins include X-ray diffraction (XRD), cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM), mass spectrometry (MS), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Recent progress shows that memteins are more representative than naked membrane proteins devoid of natural lipid and is driving the development of next generation polymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Separation Techniques – Optimization and Application)
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