Special Issue "Selected Papers from the MELPRO 2020"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021) | Viewed by 9795

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Enrico Drioli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute on Membrane Technology (CNR-ITM), University of Calabria, 87030 Rende, Italy
Interests: membrane science and engineering; membranes in artificial organs; integrated membrane processes; membrane preparation and transport phenomena in membranes; membrane distillation and membrane contactors; catalytic membrane and catalytic membrane reactors; desalination of brackish and saline water; salinity gradient energy fuel cells
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Dr. Elena Tocci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute on Membrane Technology, ITM-CNR, Via P. Bucci, Cubo 17/C, 87036 Rende, CS, Italy
Interests: molecular modeling of membranes and membrane operations; modeling of single gas and mixed gas separation; modeling of morphological properties of amorphous glassy membranes; membrane crystallization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Pavel Izák
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the AS CR, Rozvojová 135, 165 02 Prague 6, Czech Republic
Interests: membrane separation processes; gas and vapor separation; pervaporation; pertraction; chiral membranes; new trends in membrane applications
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Dr. Lubos Novak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
MEGA a.s., Drahobejlova 1452, 190 00 Prague 9, Czech Republic
Interests: electrodialysis; electro deionization; industrial wastewater treatment; zero liquid discharge; hybrid processes; integrated membrane processes; high purity water; ultrapure water; gas membrane separation; diffusion dialysis; acid recycling; glycol purification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

This Special Issue includes selected papers presented at the Membrane and Electromembrane Processes (MELPRO 2020), to be held from 8 to 11 November 2020, in Prague, Czech Republic.

Conference topics include,

  • New membrane materials
  • Gas, liquid, and vapor separation
  • Pressure driven membrane processes
  • Electrochemical membrane processes
  • Membrane systems in water treatment, biotechnology, and biomedical applications
  • Membrane operations in process engineering
  • Modeling and simulation in membrane systems
  • Membrane systems in the mining industry
  • Membrane systems in space
  • New trends in membrane applications
  • Membrane systems for new agriculture

On behalf of the organizing committee, we cordially invite you to join us. Participants of the conference are cordially invited to contribute original research papers or reviews to this Special Issue of Membranes.

30% discount of Article Processing Charges is available for all the attendees of MELPRO 2020.

Prof. Enrico Drioli
Dr. Elena Tocci
Dr. Pavel Izák
Dr. Lubos Novak
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2200 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.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Glycidyl and Methyl Methacrylate UV-Grafted PDMS Membrane Modification toward Tramadol Membrane Selectivity
Membranes 2021, 11(10), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11100752 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 728
Abstract
Pharmaceutical wastewater pollution has reached an alarming stage, as many studies have reported. Membrane separation has shown great performance in wastewater treatment, but there are some drawbacks and undesired byproducts of this process. Selective membranes could be used for pollutant investigation sensors or [...] Read more.
Pharmaceutical wastewater pollution has reached an alarming stage, as many studies have reported. Membrane separation has shown great performance in wastewater treatment, but there are some drawbacks and undesired byproducts of this process. Selective membranes could be used for pollutant investigation sensors or even for pollutant recovery. The polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane was first tested on separated and mixed antibiotic (ATB) water solutions containing sulfamethoxazole (SM), trimethoprim (TMP), and tetracycline (TET). Then, the bare and ultra-violet grafted (UV-grafted) PDMS membranes (MMA-DMAEMA 10, GMA-DMAEMA 5, and GMA-DMAEMA 10) were tested in tramadol (TRA) separation, where the diffusion coefficient was evaluated. Finally, the membranes were tested in pertraction with a mixture of SM, TMP, TET, and TRA. The membranes were characterized using the following methods: contact angle measurement, FTIR, SEM/EDX, and surface and pore analysis. The main findings were that TET was co-eluted during mixed ATB pertraction, and GMA-DMAEMA 5 was found to selectively permeate TRA over the present ATBs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the MELPRO 2020)
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Article
Modified Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Membranes for the Elimination of Antibiotics from Water
Membranes 2021, 11(9), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11090720 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
The hydrophilic and hydrophobic single-walled carbon nanotube membranes were prepared and progressively applied in sorption, filtration, and pertraction experiments with the aim of eliminating three antibiotics—tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim—as a single pollutant or as a mixture. The addition of SiO2 to the [...] Read more.
The hydrophilic and hydrophobic single-walled carbon nanotube membranes were prepared and progressively applied in sorption, filtration, and pertraction experiments with the aim of eliminating three antibiotics—tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim—as a single pollutant or as a mixture. The addition of SiO2 to the single-walled carbon nanotubes allowed a transparent study of the influence of porosity on the separation processes. The mild oxidation, increasing hydrophilicity, and reactivity of the single-walled carbon nanotube membranes with the pollutants were suitable for the filtration and sorption process, while non-oxidized materials with a hydrophobic layer were more appropriate for pertraction. The total pore volume increased with an increasing amount of SiO2 (from 743 to 1218 mm3/g) in the hydrophilic membranes. The hydrophobic layer completely covered the carbon nanotubes and SiO2 nanoparticles and provided significantly different membrane surface interactions with the antibiotics. Single-walled carbon nanotubes adsorbed the initial amount of antibiotics in less than 5 h. A time of 2.3 s was sufficient for the filtration of 98.8% of sulfamethoxazole, 95.5% of trimethoprim, and 87.0% of tetracycline. The thicker membranes demonstrate a higher adsorption capacity. However, the pertraction was slower than filtration, leading to total elimination of antibiotics (e.g., 3 days for tetracycline). The diffusion coefficient of the antibiotics varies between 0.7–2.7 × 10−10, depending on the addition of SiO2 in perfect agreement with the findings of the textural analysis and scanning electron microscopy observations. Similar to filtration, tetracycline is retained by the membranes more than sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the MELPRO 2020)
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Article
Bipolar Membrane Electrodialysis for Sulfate Recycling in the Metallurgical Industries
Membranes 2021, 11(9), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11090718 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1289
Abstract
Demand for nickel and cobalt sulfate is expected to increase due to the rapidly growing Li-battery industry needed for the electrification of automobiles. This has led to an increase in the production of sodium sulfate as a waste effluent that needs to be [...] Read more.
Demand for nickel and cobalt sulfate is expected to increase due to the rapidly growing Li-battery industry needed for the electrification of automobiles. This has led to an increase in the production of sodium sulfate as a waste effluent that needs to be processed to meet discharge guidelines. Using bipolar membrane electrodialysis (BPED), acids and bases can be effectively produced from corresponding salts found in these waste effluents. However, the efficiency and environmental sustainability of the overall BPED process depends upon several factors, including the properties of the ion exchange membranes employed, effluent type, and temperature which affects the viscosity and conductivity of feed effluent, and the overpotentials. This work focuses on the recycling of Na2SO4 rich waste effluent, through a feed and bleed BPED process. A high ion-exchange capacity and ionic conductivity with excellent stability up to 41 °C is observed during the proposed BPED process, with this temperature increase also leading to improved current efficiency. Five and ten repeating units were tested to determine the effect on BPED stack performance, as well as the effect of temperature and current density on the stack voltage and current efficiency. Furthermore, the concentration and maximum purity (>96.5%) of the products were determined. Using the experimental data, both the capital expense (CAPEX) and operating expense (OPEX) for a theoretical plant capacity of 100 m3 h−1 of Na2SO4 at 110 g L−1 was calculated, yielding CAPEX values of 20 M EUR, and OPEX at 14.2 M EUR/year with a payback time of 11 years, however, the payback time is sensitive to chemical and electricity prices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the MELPRO 2020)
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Article
Interfacial Design of Mixed Matrix Membranes via Grafting PVA on UiO-66-NH2 to Enhance the Gas Separation Performance
Membranes 2021, 11(6), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11060419 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1895
Abstract
In this study, defect-free facilitated transport mixed matrix membrane (MMM) with high loading amount of UiO-66-NH2 nanoparticles as metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) was fabricated. The MOFs were covalently bonded with poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to incorporate into a poly (vinyl amine) (PVAm) matrix [...] Read more.
In this study, defect-free facilitated transport mixed matrix membrane (MMM) with high loading amount of UiO-66-NH2 nanoparticles as metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) was fabricated. The MOFs were covalently bonded with poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to incorporate into a poly (vinyl amine) (PVAm) matrix solution. A uniform UiO-66-NH2 dispersion up to 55 wt.% was observed without precipitation and agglomeration after one month. This can be attributed to the high covalent interaction at interfaces of UiO-66-NH2 and PVAm, which was provided by PVA as a functionalized organic linker. The CO2 permeability and CO2/N2 and selectivity were significantly enhanced for the fabricated MMM by using optimal fabrication parameters. This improvement in gas performance is due to the strong impact of solubility and decreasing diffusion in obtained dense membrane to promote CO2 transport with a bicarbonate reversible reaction. Therefore, the highest amount of amine functional groups of PVAm among all polymers, plus the abundant amount of amines from UiO-66-NH2, facilitated the preferential CO2 permeation through the bicarbonate reversible reaction between CO2 and –NH2 in humidified conditions. XRD and FTIR were employed to study the MMM chemical structure and polymers–MOF particle interactions. Cross-sectional and surface morphology of the MMM was observed by SEM-EDX and 3D optical profilometer to detect the dispersion of MOFs into the polymer matrix and explore their interfacial morphology. This approach can be extended for a variety of polymer–filler interfacial designs for gas separation applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the MELPRO 2020)
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Article
Partial Desalination of Saline Groundwater: Comparison of Nanofiltration, Reverse Osmosis and Membrane Capacitive Deionisation
Membranes 2021, 11(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11020126 - 12 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Saline groundwater (SGW) is an alternative water resource. However, the concentration of sodium, chloride, sulphate, and nitrate in SGW usually exceeds the recommended guideline values for drinking water and irrigation. In this study, the partial desalination performance of three different concentrated SGWs were [...] Read more.
Saline groundwater (SGW) is an alternative water resource. However, the concentration of sodium, chloride, sulphate, and nitrate in SGW usually exceeds the recommended guideline values for drinking water and irrigation. In this study, the partial desalination performance of three different concentrated SGWs were examined by pressure-driven membrane desalination technologies: nanofiltration (NF), brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO), and seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO); in addition to one electrochemical-driven desalination technology: membrane capacitive deionisation (MCDI). The desalination performance was evaluated using the specific energy consumption (SEC) and water recovery, determined by experiments and simulations. The experimental results of this study show that the SEC for the desalination of SGW with a total dissolved solid (TDS) concentration of 1 g/L by MCDI and NF is similar and ranges between 0.2–0.4 kWh/m3 achieving a water recovery value of 35–70%. The lowest SECs for the desalination of SGW with a TDS concentration ≥2 g/L were determined by the use of BWRO and SWRO with 0.4–2.9 kWh/m3 for a water recovery of 40–66%. Even though the MCDI technique cannot compete with pressure-driven membrane desalination technologies at higher raw water salinities, this technology shows a high selectivity for nitrate and a high potential for flexible desalination applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the MELPRO 2020)
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Article
Nitrate-Selective Anion Exchange Membranes Prepared using Discarded Reverse Osmosis Membranes as Support
Membranes 2020, 10(12), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10120377 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1469
Abstract
The present work shows a methodology for the preparation of membranes with a high affinity for nitrates. For this purpose, a polymeric mixture containing an anion exchange resin was extended on a recycled pressure filtration membrane used as mechanical support. Different ion exchange [...] Read more.
The present work shows a methodology for the preparation of membranes with a high affinity for nitrates. For this purpose, a polymeric mixture containing an anion exchange resin was extended on a recycled pressure filtration membrane used as mechanical support. Different ion exchange resins were tested. The influence in ion fractionation of (i) the type of ion exchange resin, (ii) the use of a recycled membrane as support and (iii) the operating current density during the separation process were studied. Results revealed that the employed anion exchange resin could tune up the transport numbers of the anions in the membrane and enhance the transport of nitrates over sulfates. The use of the recycled filtration membrane as support further increased the transport of nitrates in detriment of sulfates in nitrate-selective membranes. Moreover, it considerably improved the mechanical stability of the membranes. Lowering the operational current density also boosted ion fractionation. In addition, the use of recycled membranes as support in membrane preparation is presented as an alternative management route of discarded reverse osmosis membranes, coupling with the challenging management of waste generated by the desalination industry. These membranes could be used for nitrate recovery from wastewater or for nitrate separation from groundwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the MELPRO 2020)
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Perspective
From Black Box to Machine Learning: A Journey through Membrane Process Modelling
Membranes 2021, 11(8), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11080574 - 29 Jul 2021
Viewed by 972
Abstract
Membrane processes are complex systems, often comprising several physicochemical phenomena, as well as biological reactions, depending on the systems studied. Therefore, process modelling is a requirement to simulate (and predict) process and membrane performance, to infer about optimal process conditions, to assess fouling [...] Read more.
Membrane processes are complex systems, often comprising several physicochemical phenomena, as well as biological reactions, depending on the systems studied. Therefore, process modelling is a requirement to simulate (and predict) process and membrane performance, to infer about optimal process conditions, to assess fouling development, and ultimately, for process monitoring and control. Despite the actual dissemination of terms such as Machine Learning, the use of such computational tools to model membrane processes was regarded by many in the past as not useful from a scientific point-of-view, not contributing to the understanding of the phenomena involved. Despite the controversy, in the last 25 years, data driven, non-mechanistic modelling is being applied to describe different membrane processes and in the development of new modelling and monitoring approaches. Thus, this work aims at providing a personal perspective of the use of non-mechanistic modelling in membrane processes, reviewing the evolution supported in our own experience, gained as research group working in the field of membrane processes. Additionally, some guidelines are provided for the application of advanced mathematical tools to model membrane processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the MELPRO 2020)
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