Special Issue "Environmental Applications of Membrane Technology"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chuyang Y. Tang
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Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
Interests: membrane technology; desalination; wastewater reclamation; water chemistry; environmental materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Yingchao Dong
Website
Guest Editor
School of Environmental Science & Technology (SEST), Dalian University of Technology (DUT), Dalian 116024, China
Interests: environmental engineering; membrane technology; ceramic membranes; water and gas treatment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Fenglin Yang
Website
Guest Editor
Key Laboratory of Industrial Ecology and Environmental Engineering (Ministry of Education, MOE), School of Environmental Science & Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
Interests: environmental engineering; enviromental biotechnology (ANAMMOX, SNAD, etc.); membrane technology (MBR); water and wastewater treatment; waste recycling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Membrane technology is increasingly used in many environmental applications, ranging from drinking water production, wastewater treatment, pollution control, gas separation to energy production and resource recovery. Microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), and nanofiltration (NF) are widely used in water treatment facilities, and membrane bioreactors (MBR) set a golden standard for wastewater treatment. In recent decades, alternative desalination methods (e.g., membrane distillation (MD), forward osmosis (FO), capacitive deionization (CDI)) have started to show some competitive niches. At the same time, the emergence of new desalination materials, such as graphene oxide and aquaporins, are preparing to revolutionize the desalination sector. Membrane processes are also playing an ever-increasing role in energy production, CO2 capture, pollution reduction, resource recovery, etc. This Special Issue invites contributions that address the latest developments of membrane technology and its environmental applications. Both original research papers and comprehensive reviews are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Chuyang Y. Tang
Prof. Dr. Yingchao Dong
Prof. Dr. Fenglin Yang
Guest Editors

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. Environments is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1000 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

  • Membrane separation
  • Water purification
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Desalination
  • Gas separation
  • Energy production
  • Resource recovery
  • Contaminants removal

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Performance of Pd-Based Membranes and Effects of Various Gas Mixtures on H2 Permeation
Environments 2018, 5(12), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5120128 - 04 Dec 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
H2 permeation and separation properties of two Pd-based composite membranes were evaluated and compared at 400 °C and at a pressure range of 150 kPa to 600 kPa. One membrane was characterized by an approximately 8 μm-thick palladium (Pd)-gold (Au) layer deposited [...] Read more.
H2 permeation and separation properties of two Pd-based composite membranes were evaluated and compared at 400 °C and at a pressure range of 150 kPa to 600 kPa. One membrane was characterized by an approximately 8 μm-thick palladium (Pd)-gold (Au) layer deposited on an asymmetric microporous Al2O3 substrate; the other membrane consisted of an approximately 11 μm-thick pure palladium layer deposited on a yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) support. At 400 °C and with a trans-membrane pressure of 50 kPa, the membranes showed a H2 permeance of 8.42 × 10−4 mol/m2·s·Pa0.5 and 2.54 × 10−5 mol/m2·s·Pa0.7 for Pd-Au and Pd membranes, respectively. Pd-Au membrane showed infinite ideal selectivity to H2 with respect to He and Ar at 400 °C and a trans-membrane pressure of 50 kPa, while the ideal selectivities for the Pd membrane under the same operating conditions were much lower. Furthermore, the permeation tests for ternary and quaternary mixtures of H2, CO, CO2, CH4, and H2O were conducted on the Pd/YSZ membrane. The H2 permeating flux decreased at the conclusion of the permeation tests for all mixtures. This decline however, was not permanent, i.e., H2 permeation was restored to its initial value after treating the membrane with H2 for a maximum of 7 h. The effects of gas hourly space velocity (GHSV) and the steam-to-carbon (S/C) ratio on H2 permeation were also investigated using simulated steam methane reforming mixtures. It was found that H2 permeation is highest at the greatest GHSV, due to a decline in the concentration polarization effect. Variations in S/C ratio however, showed no significant effect on the H2 permeation. The permeation characteristics for the Pd/YSZ membrane were also investigated at temperatures ranging from 350 to 400 °C. The pre-exponential factor and apparent activation energy were found to be 5.66 × 10−4 mol/m2·s·Pa0.7 and 12.8 kJ/mol, respectively. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses were performed on both pristine and used membranes, and no strong evidence of the formation of Pd-O or any other undesirable phases was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Applications of Membrane Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Modified Spacer on Flow Pattern in Narrow Spacer-Filled Channels for Spiral-Wound Membrane Modules
Environments 2018, 5(11), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5110116 - 28 Oct 2018
Abstract
A modified spacer, which was constructed with arched filaments and zigzag filaments, was designed to improve vortex shedding and generate a directional change in flow patterns of membrane modules, especially in the vicinity of the feed spacer filament, which is most affected by [...] Read more.
A modified spacer, which was constructed with arched filaments and zigzag filaments, was designed to improve vortex shedding and generate a directional change in flow patterns of membrane modules, especially in the vicinity of the feed spacer filament, which is most affected by fouling. A unit cell was investigated by using a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model for hydrodynamic simulation. The results of CFD simulations were carried out for the fluid flow in order to understand the effect of the modified spacer on vortices to the performance of arched filaments at different distances. From 2D velocity vectors and shear stress contour mixing, the flow pattern and dead zone flushing were depicted. The ratio of low shear stress area to the total area increased with the inlet velocity closed to 20%. The energy consumption with respect to flow direction for the arched filament was 80% lower than that in the zigzag filament. Compared with previous commercial spacers’ simulation, the friction factor was lower when the main flow was normal to the arched filament and the modified friction factor was close to the commercial spacers. The homogenization was realized through the flow pattern created by the modified spacer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Applications of Membrane Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance of Reverse Osmosis Membranes in the Treatment of Flue-Gas Desulfurization (FGD) Wastewaters
Environments 2018, 5(6), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5060071 - 19 Jun 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Reverse osmosis (RO) was studied to reduce salinity of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewaters after softening with Na2CO3·H2O and ultrafiltration (UF). Two commercial thin film composite polyamide RO membranes (SWC-2540 and ESPA-2540, from Hydranautics) in spiral-wound configuration [...] Read more.
Reverse osmosis (RO) was studied to reduce salinity of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewaters after softening with Na2CO3·H2O and ultrafiltration (UF). Two commercial thin film composite polyamide RO membranes (SWC-2540 and ESPA-2540, from Hydranautics) in spiral-wound configuration were tested and their performance in terms of salinity reduction as well as permeate flux, fouling index and water recovery was evaluated. Experimental runs were performed according to the feed and bleed configuration in selected operating conditions. For the SWC-2540 membrane experiments were also performed in total recycle configuration in order to evaluate the effect of operating pressure on permeate flux and quality. Experimental results indicated that the SWC-2540 membrane showed a better performance in the rejection of ions: Mg2+ ions were completely rejected, while the rejection towards monovalent ions such as Na+ was of about 95.5%. The ESPA-2540 membrane showed rejections towards Ca2+ and Mg2+ higher than 86.5% whilst the observed rejection towards Na+ was of 80%. For the SWC-2540 membrane an increased rejection for Ca2+ and Na+ ions was observed by increasing the operating pressure in the range 16-50 bar. Mg2+ ions were totally rejected independently by the operating pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Applications of Membrane Technology)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Reliable Seawater Desalination System Based on Membrane Technology and Biotechnology Considering Reduction of the Environmental Impact
Environments 2018, 5(12), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5120127 - 03 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The application of seawater desalination technology using a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane has been expanding because it requires less energy compared with other distillation methods. Even in Middle Eastern countries where energy costs are lower such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait, [...] Read more.
The application of seawater desalination technology using a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane has been expanding because it requires less energy compared with other distillation methods. Even in Middle Eastern countries where energy costs are lower such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait, almost all desalination plants where only water production is required have adopted the RO method. However, large plants in excess of half mega-ton size are required, and Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) operation lacks reliability due to heavy biofouling and large amounts of briny discharge contaminated with chemicals. For reliable desalination systems with lower environmental impact, membrane-processing technology, including biotechnology (such as marine bacteria), has been examined as national research in Japan in the “Mega-ton Water System” project. We examined the influence of chlorination on marine bacteria using the fluorescence microscopic observation method and found that the effect of chlorination is limited. Chlorination sterilization triggers biofouling and sodium bisulfate (SBS) addition as a de-chlorinating agent also triggers biofouling, so a process with no chlorine or SBS addition would reduce biofouling. As polyamide SWRO membranes have low chlorine resistivity, such a process would enable longer membrane life in real plants. We used a biofouling monitoring technology, the Membrane Biofilm Formation Rate (mBFR), to design a process that involves no chlorine or SBS addition and verified it in the Arabian Gulf Sea, of Saudi Arabia, which is one of the most difficult and challenging seawaters in which to control biofouling. Furthermore, by minimizing the addition of a sterilizer, the desalination system became more environmentally friendly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Applications of Membrane Technology)
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