Special Issue "EWM 2019: Membranes for a Sustainable Future"

A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Frank Lipnizki
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Lund University, Box 124, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Interests: membrane separation processes; integration of membrane processes; fouling and cleaning; membrane applications in food, biotech and chemical industry; water and wastewater treatment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For nearly 25 years 'Engineering with Membranes' has been a successful conference series for membrane researchers interested in the engineering aspects of membrane science. The 2019 conference in the 'Engineering with Membranes' takes place in the beautiful town of Båstad in the south of Sweden, 8–10 April, 2019, http://ewm2019.eu/.

The focus of this edition of ‘Engineering with Membranes' will be on 'Membranes for a Sustainable Future'. Thus, the current conference will emphasize how membrane processes can help to achieve the 17 sustainability goals developed by the United Nations. The conference thus welcomes papers dedicated to the sustainable manufacturing, design, and application of membrane and membranes processes. In particular, papers related to the development and integration of membranes processes in the food, biorefinery, and biotech industry are welcomed. The conference schedule is designed to provide an inspiring event with key speeches combined with oral and poster presentations but also time and space for meetings and stimulating discussions.

50% discount of Article Processing Charges is available for all the attendees of EWM 2019.

Prof. Dr. Frank Lipnizki
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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. Membranes 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 1200 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
  • Membrane modules
  • Membrane fouling and cleaning
  • Microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis
  • Pervaporation and vapor permeation
  • Membrane contactors
  • Food industry
  • Biorefineries
  • Pulp and paper industry
  • Petroleum and gas industry
  • Biotech and pharmaceutical industry
  • Water and wastewater treatment including process water recovery

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Purification of Sucrose in Sugar Beet Molasses by Utilizing Ceramic Nanofiltration and Ultrafiltration Membranes
Membranes 2020, 10(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10010005 - 27 Dec 2019
Abstract
Molasses is a sugar mill by-product with low value that today is used primarily for animal feed. However, molasses contains large amounts of sucrose which, if purified, could be used for other purposes. In this study, purification by membrane filtration using ceramic tubular [...] Read more.
Molasses is a sugar mill by-product with low value that today is used primarily for animal feed. However, molasses contains large amounts of sucrose which, if purified, could be used for other purposes. In this study, purification by membrane filtration using ceramic tubular ultrafiltration (UF) and nanofiltration (NF) was examined. NF purifies sucrose by removing small compounds, whereas UF removes larger compounds. Based on our results, high filtration fluxes could be obtained, and it was possible to clean the membranes sufficiently from fouling compounds. Sucrose was separated from other compounds, but the separation efficiency was generally higher with diluted molasses compared with concentrated molasses. This could be explained by more severe fouling when filtering dilute molasses or potentially due to aggregate formations in the molasses as our analysis showed. Overall, this study shows the potential of ceramic UF and NF membranes for sucrose purification from molasses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EWM 2019: Membranes for a Sustainable Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Properties of Water Confined in Graphene-Based Membrane: A Classical Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study
Membranes 2019, 9(12), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9120165 - 04 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
We performed molecular dynamics simulations of water molecules inside a hydrophobic membrane composed of stacked graphene sheets. By decreasing the density of water molecules inside the membrane, we observed that water molecules form a droplet through a hydrogen bond with each other in [...] Read more.
We performed molecular dynamics simulations of water molecules inside a hydrophobic membrane composed of stacked graphene sheets. By decreasing the density of water molecules inside the membrane, we observed that water molecules form a droplet through a hydrogen bond with each other in the hydrophobic environment that stacked graphene sheets create. We found that the water droplet translates as a whole body rather than a dissipate. The translational diffusion coefficient along the graphene surface increases as the number of water molecules in the droplet decreases, because the bigger water droplet has a stronger van der Waals interaction with the graphene surface that hampers the translational motion. We also observed a longer hydrogen bond lifetime as the density of water decreased, because the hydrophobic environment limits the libration motion of the water molecules. We also calculated the reorientational correlation time of the water molecules, and we found that the rotational motion of confined water inside the membrane is anisotropic and the reorientational correlation time of confined water is slower than that of bulk water. In addition, we employed steered molecular dynamics simulations for guiding the target molecule, and measured the free energy profile of water and ion penetration through the interstice between graphene sheets. The free energy profile of penetration revealed that the optimum interlayer distance for desalination is ~10 Å, where the minimum distance for water penetration is 7 Å. With a 7 Å interlayer distance between the graphene sheets, water molecules are stabilized inside the interlayer space because of the van der Waals interaction with the graphene sheets where sodium and chloride ions suffer from a 3–8 kcal/mol energy barrier for penetration. We believe that our simulation results would be a significant contribution for designing a new graphene-based membrane for desalination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EWM 2019: Membranes for a Sustainable Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Tangential Flow Filtration for the Concentration of Oncolytic Measles Virus: The Influence of Filter Properties and the Cell Culture Medium
Membranes 2019, 9(12), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9120160 - 29 Nov 2019
Abstract
The therapeutic use of oncolytic measles virus (MV) for cancer treatment requires >108 infectious MV particles per dose in a highly pure form. The concentration/purification of viruses is typically achieved by tangential flow filtration (TFF) but the efficiency of this process for [...] Read more.
The therapeutic use of oncolytic measles virus (MV) for cancer treatment requires >108 infectious MV particles per dose in a highly pure form. The concentration/purification of viruses is typically achieved by tangential flow filtration (TFF) but the efficiency of this process for the preparation of MV has not been tested in detail. We therefore investigated the influence of membrane material, feed composition, and pore size or molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) on the recovery of MV by TFF in concentration mode. We achieved the recovery of infectious MV particles using membranes with a MWCO ≤ 300 kDa regardless of the membrane material and whether or not serum was present in the feed. However, serum proteins in the medium affected membrane flux and promoted fouling. The severity of fouling was dependent on the membrane material, with the cellulose-based membrane showing the lowest susceptibility. We found that impurities such as proteins and host cell DNA were best depleted using membranes with a MWCO ≥ 300 kDa. We conclude that TFF in concentration mode is a robust unit operation to concentrate infectious MV particles while depleting impurities such as non-infectious MV particles, proteins, and host cell DNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EWM 2019: Membranes for a Sustainable Future)
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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
Cited by 3
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
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
Cited by 1
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
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 AccessArticle
Galactoglucomannan Recovery with Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Membranes: Process Performance and Cost Estimations
Membranes 2019, 9(8), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9080099 - 10 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, we compared the GR51PP (hydrophobic/polysulfone) membrane with a series of hydrophilic (regenerated cellulose) membranes with the aim of increasing the retention of products and decreasing membrane fouling. The raw material used was a sodium-based spent sulfite liquor from the sulfite [...] Read more.
In this study, we compared the GR51PP (hydrophobic/polysulfone) membrane with a series of hydrophilic (regenerated cellulose) membranes with the aim of increasing the retention of products and decreasing membrane fouling. The raw material used was a sodium-based spent sulfite liquor from the sulfite pulping process of spruce and pine. The results show that the hydrophilic membranes were superior to the hydrophobic membranes in terms of higher fluxes (up to twice the magnitude), higher product retentions and less fouling (up to five times lower fouling). The fouling was probably caused by pore blocking as observed in earlier studies. However, the hydrophilic membranes had a lower affinity for lignin, which was indicated by the lower retention and fouling. This also resulted in a separation degree, which was higher compared with the hydrophobic membrane, thus yielding a higher galactoglucomannan (GGM) purity. 2D HSQC NMR results show that no major structural differences were present in the hydrophilic and hydrophobic retentates. A techno-economical evaluation resulted in the RC70PP being chosen as the most cost-efficient membrane in terms of flux and product recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EWM 2019: Membranes for a Sustainable Future)
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