Special Issue "Mass Transfer in Membranes"

A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375). This special issue belongs to the section "Membrane Transport Phenomena".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Shinji Kanehashi

Graduate School of Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: membrane; separation; barrier; permeation; diffusion; sorption; heat and mass transfer; polymer hybrid; thin film composite; CO2 capture; natural gas sweetening; hydrogen purification; biomass; renewable resources; microplastics; biodegradable; semi-conducting polymer; thermoelectric conversion; super-critical CO2

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mass transfer is fundamental phenomenon that movement of mass from one side to another. The driving force for mass transfer is a difference in chemical potential, and other thermodynamic gradients may accommodate the mass flow. A membrane is an interphase between two adjacent phases, acting as a selective barrier, regulating the transport of substances between the two compartments, and is employed for specific functions, including separation/purification of gases, vapors, liquids, ions, or biological matters.

This Special Issue focuses on mass transfer in membranes for industrial membrane applications, such as separation/purification, barrier, extraction, fuel cell, battery, dialysis, etc. The topics of interests include, not only synthesis of novel membrane materials, membrane characterization, membrane performance and their applications, but also theoretical work of mass transport in membranes. The Guest Editor invites you to submit your original research or critical review articles to this Special Issue on “Mass Transfer in Membranes”.

Dr. Shinji Kanehashi
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 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

  • novel membrane materials
  • membrane characterization
  • membrane performance
  • theory of mass transport in membranes
  • membrane applications

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIM-1) Membranes Treated with Supercritical CO2
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
Polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) are a promising membrane material for gas separation, because of their high free volume and micro-cavity size distribution. This is countered by PIMs-based membranes being highly susceptible to physical aging, which dramatically reduces their permselectivity over extended periods [...] Read more.
Polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) are a promising membrane material for gas separation, because of their high free volume and micro-cavity size distribution. This is countered by PIMs-based membranes being highly susceptible to physical aging, which dramatically reduces their permselectivity over extended periods of time. Supercritical carbon dioxide is known to plasticize and partially solubilise polymers, altering the underlying membrane morphology, and hence impacting the gas separation properties. This investigation reports on the change in PIM-1 membranes after being exposed to supercritical CO2 for two- and eight-hour intervals, followed by two depressurization protocols, a rapid depressurization and a slow depressurization. The exposure times enables the impact contact time with supercritical CO2 has on the membrane morphology to be investigated, as well as the subsequent depressurization event. The density of the post supercritical CO2 exposed membranes, irrespective of exposure time and depressurization, were greater than the untreated membrane. This indicated that supercritical CO2 had solubilised the polymer chain, enabling PIM-1 to rearrange and contract the free volume micro-cavities present. As a consequence, the permeabilities of He, CH4, O2 and CO2 were all reduced for the supercritical CO2-treated membranes compared to the original membrane, while N2 permeability remained unchanged. Importantly, the physical aging properties of the supercritical CO2-treated membranes altered, with only minor reductions in N2, CH4 and O2 permeabilities observed over extended periods of time. In contrast, He and CO2 permeabilities experienced similar physical aging in the supercritical treated membranes to that of the original membrane. This was interpreted as the supercritical CO2 treatment enabling micro-cavity contraction to favour the smaller CO2 molecule, due to size exclusion of the larger N2, CH4 and O2 molecules. Therefore, physical aging of the treated membranes only had minor impact on N2, CH4 and O2 permeability; while the smaller He and CO2 gases experience greater permeability loss. This result implies that supercritical CO2 exposure has potential to limit physical aging performance loss in PIM-1 based membranes for O2/N2 separation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Preparation of Layer-by-Layer Nanofiltration Membranes by Dynamic Deposition and Crosslinking
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
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Abstract
In recent decades, the advancements in layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technology have provoked increasing interest in the preparation of multilayer polyelectrolyte membranes with excellent performance. In the current study, a novel nanofiltration (NF) membrane was prepared by pressure-driven layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly of polyethylenimine (PEI) [...] Read more.
In recent decades, the advancements in layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technology have provoked increasing interest in the preparation of multilayer polyelectrolyte membranes with excellent performance. In the current study, a novel nanofiltration (NF) membrane was prepared by pressure-driven layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly of polyethylenimine (PEI) and polyacrylicacid (PAA) on a porous substrate with chemical crosslinking. The effect of deposition pressure on separation performance of the prepared membranes was studied. The surface morphology, hydrophilicity and the charge property of the dynamically-deposited membranes were compared with those prepared by static adsorption. The characterization results showed that dynamic deposition process resulted in a smoother membrane surface with improved hydrophilicity. The mechanism of water-path formation was proposed to interpret the effect of pressure on the membrane performance. Glutaraldehyde (GA) was used as a crosslinker to reduce the number of polyelectrolyte bilayers for obtaining good separation performance. The rejections of different inorganic salts of the dynamically-deposited NF membrane were also investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Performance of Void-Free Electrospun SPEEK/Cloisite as a Function of Degree of Dispersion State on Nanocomposite Proton Exchange Membrane for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Application
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 2 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
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Abstract
One of the main problems in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) application is methanol crossover. In order to solve the problem, an exfoliated void-free electrospun Sulfonated Poly(Ether Ether Ketone) (SPEEK)/cloisite nanocomposite membrane was developed. The membrane was prepared by immersing electrospun SPEEK/cloisite fiber [...] Read more.
One of the main problems in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) application is methanol crossover. In order to solve the problem, an exfoliated void-free electrospun Sulfonated Poly(Ether Ether Ketone) (SPEEK)/cloisite nanocomposite membrane was developed. The membrane was prepared by immersing electrospun SPEEK/cloisite fiber mats onto incomplete solidified SPEEK polymer matrix. A well dispersed and reduction size of cloisite particles that ranges from 0.29–0.39 µm was observed by using Scanning Electron Microscopy Analysis (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The effect of the morphology of the composite membrane in terms of degree of dispersion state of the Cloisite on the membrane performance was discussed. SP/e-spunCL15 with fully exfoliated structure exhibited the highest performance as compared to other tested membranes and Nafion® 115 with current density of 1042.2 mAcm−2 and power density of 1.18 mWcm−2. Improved morphological, dimensional change properties, and performance assigned to well-dispersed cloisite15A induced by the electrospinning technique make the membranes more efficient for direct methanol fuel cell applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Preparation of PVA-Based Hollow Fiber Ion-Exchange Membranes and Their Performance for Donnan Dialysis
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 16 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
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Abstract
Hollow fiber type cation-exchange (C-HF) membranes and hollow fiber type anion-exchange (A-HF) membranes were prepared from poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA)-based copolymer with cation-exchange groups and by blending PVA and polycation, respectively, by a gel fiber spinning method. In order to control the water [...] Read more.
Hollow fiber type cation-exchange (C-HF) membranes and hollow fiber type anion-exchange (A-HF) membranes were prepared from poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA)-based copolymer with cation-exchange groups and by blending PVA and polycation, respectively, by a gel fiber spinning method. In order to control the water content of the hollow fiber membranes, the membranes were cross-linked physically by annealing, and then cross-linked chemically by using glutaraldehyde (GA) solutions at various GA concentrations. The outer diameter of C-HF and A-HF membranes were ca. 1000 μm and ca. 1500 μm, respectively, and the thickness of the membranes were ca. 170 μm and 290 μm, respectively. Permeation experiments were carried out in two Donnan dialysis systems, which included mixed 0.1 M NaCl and 0.1 M CaCl2/C-HF /3 × 10−4 M CaCl2 and mixed 0.1 M NaCl and 0.1 M NaNO3/A-HF/3 × 10−4 M NaNO3 to examine ionic perm selectivity of the membranes. In the Donnan dialysis experiments using C-HF membranes, uphill transport of the divalent cations occurred, and, in the case of A-HF membranes, uphill transport of NO3 ions occurred. C-HF and A-HF membranes had about half of the flux in the uphill transported ions and also about half of the selectivity between the uphill transport ions and driven ions in comparison with those of the commercial flat sheet cation-exchange membrane (Neosepta® CMX) and anion-exchange membrane (Neosepta® AMX). Yet, IEC of C-HF and A-HF membranes were about one fifth of CMX and less than half of AMX, respectively. Since hollow fiber membrane module will have higher packing density than a flat membrane stack, the hollow fiber type ion-exchange membranes (IEMs) prepared in this study will have a potential application to a Donnan dialysis process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Alkali Attack on Anion Exchange Membranes with PVC Backing and Binder: II Prediction of Electrical and Mechanical Performances from Simple Optical Analyses
Membranes 2018, 8(4), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8040133
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
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Abstract
Performance of anion exchange membranes (AEMs), including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as backing and binder, decreases during a repetitive cleaning-in-place (CIP) treatment using alkali. In this study, we have systematically performed two optical analyses, relative total visible (VIS) reflectance and handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF), [...] Read more.
Performance of anion exchange membranes (AEMs), including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as backing and binder, decreases during a repetitive cleaning-in-place (CIP) treatment using alkali. In this study, we have systematically performed two optical analyses, relative total visible (VIS) reflectance and handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF), for alkali-attacked commercially available AEM (Neosepta® AMX, Tokyo, Japan) with different NaOH immersion conditions (0–1.0 M NaOH at 40–80 °C for 0–168 h). The VIS reflectance and XRF data were then compared with the electrical and mechanical performances (i.e., membrane resistance, proton rejection, amount of fixed-charge sites, and Young’s modulus) of the alkali-attacked AMXs. The result indicated that there are clear linear relationships between their performances and both VIS reflectance and XRF data especially at 40 °C, indicating both optical analyses have a good possibility as a quick diagnosis-in-place (DIP) to predict the resulting performance of the alkali-attacked AMXs. In addition, we also found a clear linear relationship between VIS reflectance and XRF data, so that polyene formations through dehydrochlorination of PVC during alkali attack is one of dominant mechanisms for the performance reduction of the alkali-attacked AMX at 40 °C. These results are promising to be useful for the analysis of ion exchange membranes (IEMs) used in real commercial processes on-site in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Thickness Effect on CO2/N2 Separation in Double Layer Pebax-1657®/PDMS Membranes
Membranes 2018, 8(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8040121
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 2 December 2018
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Abstract
The effect of thickness in multilayer thin-film composite membranes on gas permeation has received little attention to date, and the gas permeances of the organic polymer membranes are believed to increase by membrane thinning. Moreover, the performance of defect-free layers with known gas [...] Read more.
The effect of thickness in multilayer thin-film composite membranes on gas permeation has received little attention to date, and the gas permeances of the organic polymer membranes are believed to increase by membrane thinning. Moreover, the performance of defect-free layers with known gas permeability can be effectively described using the classical resistance in series models to predict both permeance and selectivity of the composite membrane. In this work, we have investigated the Pebax®-MH1657/PDMS double layer membrane as a selective/gutter layer combination that has the potential to achieve sufficient CO2/N2 selectivity and permeance for efficient CO2 and N2 separation. CO2 and N2 transport through membranes with different thicknesses of two layers has been investigated both experimentally and with the utilization of resistance in series models. Model prediction for permeance/selectivity corresponded perfectly with experimental data for the thicker membranes. Surprisingly, a significant decrease from model predictions was observed when the thickness of the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) (gutter layer) became relatively small (below 2 µm thickness). Material properties changed at low thicknesses—surface treatments and influence of porous support are discussed as possible reasons for observed deviations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Implementation of Spiegler–Kedem and Steric Hindrance Pore Models for Analyzing Nanofiltration Membrane Performance for Smart Water Production
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract
A predictive model correlating the parameters in the mass transfer-based model Spiegler–Kedem to the pure water permeability is presented in this research, which helps to select porous polyamide membranes for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications. Using the experimentally obtained values of flux and [...] Read more.
A predictive model correlating the parameters in the mass transfer-based model Spiegler–Kedem to the pure water permeability is presented in this research, which helps to select porous polyamide membranes for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications. Using the experimentally obtained values of flux and rejection, the reflection coefficient σ and solute permeability Ps have been estimated as the mass transfer-based model parameters for individual ions in seawater. The reflection coefficient and solute permeability determined were correlated with the pure water permeability of a membrane, which is related to the structural parameters of a membrane. The novelty of this research is the development of a model that consolidates the various complex mechanisms in the mass transfer of ions through the membrane to an empirical correlation for a given feed concentration and membrane type. These correlations were later used to predict ion rejections of any polyamide membrane with a known pure water permeability and flux with seawater as a feed that aids in the selection of suitable nanofiltration (NF) for smart water production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of DS Concentration on the PRO Performance Using a 5-Inch Scale Cellulose Triacetate-Based Hollow Fiber Membrane Module
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 14 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
In this study, pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) performance of a 5-inch scale cellulose triacetate (CTA)-based hollow fiber (HF) membrane module was evaluated under a wide range of operating conditions (0.0–6.0 MPa of applied pressure, 0.5–2.0 L/min feed solution (FS) inlet flow rate, 1.0–6.0 L/min [...] Read more.
In this study, pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) performance of a 5-inch scale cellulose triacetate (CTA)-based hollow fiber (HF) membrane module was evaluated under a wide range of operating conditions (0.0–6.0 MPa of applied pressure, 0.5–2.0 L/min feed solution (FS) inlet flow rate, 1.0–6.0 L/min DS inlet flow rate and 0.1–0.9 M draw solution (DS) concentration) by using a PRO/reverse osmosis (RO) hybrid system. The subsequent RO system for DS regeneration enabled the evaluation of the steady-stated module performance. In the case of pilot-scale module operation, since the DS dilution and the feed solution (FS) up-concentration had occurred and was not negligible, unlike the lab-scale experiment, PRO performance strongly depended on operating conditions such as inlet flow rates of both the DS and FS concentration. To compare the module performance with different configurations, we proposed a converted parameter in which a difference of the packing density between the spiral wound (SW) and the HF module was fairly considered. In the case of HF configuration, because of high packing density, volumetric-based performance was higher than that of SW module, that is, the required number of the module would be less than that of SW module in a full-scale PRO plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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