Special Issue "Membranes for Environmental Applications 2020"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chuyang Tang
E-Mail Website
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
Dr. Hao Guo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
Interests: membrane technology; water reuse; organic micropollutants; wastewater treatment
Dr. Zhe Yang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Chow Yei Ching building LG302, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
Interests: polymeric membrane; graphene oxide membrane; desalination; water reuse

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Membranes have important environmental applications ranging from water treatment to wastewater treatment and reuse, desalination, air filtration, etc. Various membrane-based processes have been involved, including reverse osmosis (RO), nanofiltration (NF), ultrafiltration (UF), microfiltration (MF), membrane bioreactor (MBR), membrane distillation (MD), forward osmosis (FO), membrane contactor, etc. These processes have been widely used for pollution control, resource recovery, and energy generation. They play a key role in the removal of pathogens, heavy metals, micropollutants, and other harmful contaminants. New membrane materials and structures have been developed to greatly enhance their permeability, selectivity, and stability in these applications.

This Special Issue on “Membranes for Environmental Applications 2020” of Membranes highlights the latest developments and future perspectives of various membrane-based environmental applications. Both reviews and original articles are welcome.

Prof. Chuyang Y. Tang
Dr. Hao Guo
Dr. Zhe Yang
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 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 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

  • Polymeric membranes
  • Inorganic membranes
  • Membrane fabrication
  • Membrane modification
  • Membrane catalysis
  • Membrane fouling
  • Desalination
  • Water treatment
  • Wastewater treatment and reuse
  • Air filtration
  • Organic micropollutants
  • Heavy metals
  • Pathogens
  • Resource recovery

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Improvement of Membrane Distillation Using PVDF Membrane Incorporated with TiO2 Modified by Silane and Optimization of Fabricating Conditions
Membranes 2021, 11(2), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11020095 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 613
Abstract
The objectives in this study are to improve the performance of PVDF membrane by incorporating TiO2 and silane at various dosages and optimize fabricating conditions by using response surface methodology (RSM) for membrane distillation (MD) application. The PVDF membrane was synthesized by [...] Read more.
The objectives in this study are to improve the performance of PVDF membrane by incorporating TiO2 and silane at various dosages and optimize fabricating conditions by using response surface methodology (RSM) for membrane distillation (MD) application. The PVDF membrane was synthesized by phase inversion method using various TiO2, silane and polymer concentrations. Membranes were characterized by performing contact angle measurements, SEM and FTIR observations. Ammonia rejection and permeate flux were measured by operating a direct contact distillation module treating ammonium chloride solution. A PVDF membrane created by adding TiO2 modified by silane improved membrane hydrophobicity. However, the effect of silane on membrane hydrophobicity was less pronounced at higher TiO2 concentrations. Highest ammonium rejection was associated with the highest membrane hydrophobicity. RSM analysis showed that fabricating conditions to achieve highest flux (10.10 L/m2·h) and ammonium rejection (100.0%) could be obtained at 31.3% silane, 2.50% TiO2, and 15.48% polymer concentrations. With a PVDF-TiO2 composite membrane for MD application, the effect of TiO2 was dependent upon silane concentration. Increasing silane concentration improved membrane hydrophobicity and ammonium rejection. RSM analysis was found to bea useful way to explore optimum fabricating conditions of membranes for the permeate flux and ammonium rejection in MD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Applications 2020)
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Article
Chemical Degradation of PSF-PUR Blend Hollow Fiber Membranes—Assessment of Changes in Properties and Morphology after Hydrolysis
Membranes 2021, 11(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11010051 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 719
Abstract
In this study, we focused on obtaining polysulfone-polyurethane (PSF-PUR) blend partly degradable hollow fiber membranes (HFMs) with different compositions while maintaining a constant PSF:PUR = 8:2 weight ratio. It was carried out through hydrolysis, and evaluation of the properties and morphology before and [...] Read more.
In this study, we focused on obtaining polysulfone-polyurethane (PSF-PUR) blend partly degradable hollow fiber membranes (HFMs) with different compositions while maintaining a constant PSF:PUR = 8:2 weight ratio. It was carried out through hydrolysis, and evaluation of the properties and morphology before and after the hydrolysis process while maintaining a constant cut-off. The obtained membranes were examined for changes in ultrafiltration coefficient (UFC), retention, weight loss, morphology assessment using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and MeMoExplorer™ Software, as well as using the Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) method. The results of the study showed an increase in the UFC value after the hydrolysis process, changes in retention, mass loss, and FT-IR spectra. The evaluation in MeMoExplorer™ Software showed the changes in membranes’ morphology. It was confirmed that polyurethane (PUR) was partially degraded, the percentage of ester bonds has an influence on the degradation process, and PUR can be used as a pore precursor instead of superbly known polymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Applications 2020)
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Article
Effect of PAC on the Behavior of Dynamic Membrane Bioreactor Filtration Layer Based on the Analysis of Mixed Liquid Properties and Model Fitting
Membranes 2020, 10(12), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10120420 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 504
Abstract
Recently, dynamic membrane bioreactor (DMBR) has gradually gained the interest of researchers for the development of membrane technology. In this paper, we set up parallel experiments to investigate the effect of powder activated carbon (PAC) on organic matter removal, transmembrane pressure, and filter [...] Read more.
Recently, dynamic membrane bioreactor (DMBR) has gradually gained the interest of researchers for the development of membrane technology. In this paper, we set up parallel experiments to investigate the effect of powder activated carbon (PAC) on organic matter removal, transmembrane pressure, and filter cake layer characterization to make an overall performance assessment of DMBR. The results showed that DMBR has a good removal effect on organic matter removal, and with a chemical oxygen demand removal rate over 85%. Protein was found to be the main membrane fouling substance. Due to the electric double-layer effect, membrane fouling tended to be alleviated when the PN/PS value was low. Using a filtration model under constant current conditions, the filtration process through the cake layer was observed to be consistent with cake-intermediate model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Applications 2020)
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Article
Preparation of a Hybrid Membrane from Whey Protein Fibrils and Activated Carbon to Remove Mercury and Chromium from Water
Membranes 2020, 10(12), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10120386 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 767
Abstract
Water contamination by mercury and chromium has a direct effect in human health. A promising technology to remove heavy metals by membrane filtration is the use of hybrid membranes produced with whey protein fibrils (WPF) and activated carbon (AC). In this study, the [...] Read more.
Water contamination by mercury and chromium has a direct effect in human health. A promising technology to remove heavy metals by membrane filtration is the use of hybrid membranes produced with whey protein fibrils (WPF) and activated carbon (AC). In this study, the best conditions to produce WPF by heat treatment were determined to maximize the removal of mercury and chromium from water using a central composed design. The results indicated that the best conditions to prepare WPF were 74 °C, 7 h and 3.8% of whey protein with adsorption capacities of 25 and 18 mg/g and removal efficiencies of 81 and 57% for mercury and chromium, respectively. WPF and AC were used to prepare a hybrid membrane that was characterized using transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area measurements. Batch filtration experiments were performed with the hybrid membrane for chromium and mercury removal at 25, 50 and 100 mg/L to determine its adsorption capacities. A high performance of the hybrid membrane was demonstrated removing efficiently mercury and chromium from water, thus supporting more than ten filtration cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Applications 2020)
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Article
Performance Improvement and Biofouling Mitigation in Osmotic Microbial Fuel Cells via In Situ Formation of Silver Nanoparticles on Forward Osmosis Membrane
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060122 - 16 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
An osmotic microbial fuel cell (OsMFC) using a forward osmosis (FO) membrane to replace the proton exchange membrane in a typical MFC achieves superior electricity production and better effluent water quality during municipal wastewater treatment. However, inevitable FO membrane fouling, especially biofouling, has [...] Read more.
An osmotic microbial fuel cell (OsMFC) using a forward osmosis (FO) membrane to replace the proton exchange membrane in a typical MFC achieves superior electricity production and better effluent water quality during municipal wastewater treatment. However, inevitable FO membrane fouling, especially biofouling, has a significantly adverse impact on water flux and thus hinders the stable operation of the OsMFC. Here, we proposed a method for biofouling mitigation of the FO membrane and further improvement in current generation of the OsMFC by applying a silver nanoparticle (AgNP) modified FO membrane. The characteristic tests revealed that the AgNP modified thin film composite (TFC) polyamide FO membrane showed advanced hydrophilicity, more negative zeta potential and better antibacterial property. The biofouling of the FO membrane in OsMFC was effectively alleviated by using the AgNP modified membrane. This phenomenon could be attributed to the changes of TFC–FO membrane properties and the antibacterial property of AgNPs on the membrane surface. An increased hydrophilicity and a more negative zeta potential of the modified membrane enhanced the repulsion between foulants and membrane surface. In addition, AgNPs directly disturbed the functions of microorganisms deposited on the membrane surface. Owing to the biofouling mitigation of the AgNP modified membrane, the water flux and electricity generation of OsMFC were correspondingly improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Applications 2020)
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