Special Issue "Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of the Mass and Heat Transfers in Membrane Separation Processes"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jianhua Zhang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Sustainability and Innovation, College of Engineering and Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
Interests: membrane distillation; wastewater treatment; desalination; advanced oxidation; membrane filtration; NF; RO
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Ranil Wickramasinghe
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Ralph E Martin Department of Chemical Engineering, and Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
Interests: water treatment; biopurification; membrane; virus filtration; electrocoagulation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Hongge Guo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Qilu University of Technology, Jinan 250353, China
Interests: preparation and analysis of the structure and properties of gas transimission film; mass transfer, such as heat, oxygen, water vapor, aroma, and ethylene gas of multilayer composite film; modified atmosphere packaging and moisture-proof packaging for products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Membrane separation technology has been widely used in gas and liquid separation processes. It has the advantages of controllable selectivity, compact structure, and low ecological footprint. Depending on the characteristics of the membrane, it can be used to separate different phases such as solid from liquid or gas, solvent from solute, and different ions in the same phase. The selectivity or rejection of targeted components can rely on size exclusion, phase change, charge, etc. The active layer of the membrane can be a single material, composite materials or even formed during treatment, such as a membrane biological reactor. Various driving forces are involved in the mass transfer, such as the concentration gradient in forward osmosis, the electric potential difference in electrodialysis, the vapor pressure difference in the membrane distillation, and the pressure difference in filtration, reverse osmosis, and nanofiltration processes. Maximizing the mass productivity per unit driving force applied is preferred, since it will minimize the required membrane material or total footprint and energy input for the same treatment capacity. Therefore, it is critical to understand the factors or principles limiting or enhancing the transfer phenomena.

This Special Issue on “Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of the Mass and Heat Transfers in Membrane Separation Processes” will bring together articles on studies of the mass and heat transfer phenomena/principles during membrane separation. We are requesting articles on all aspects of membrane separation processes, including manuscripts on literature reviews and research on membrane characterization, membrane fouling, membrane fabrication, and modeling for heat and mass transfer.

Dr. Jianhua Zhang
Prof. Dr. Ranil Wickramasinghe
Dr. Hongge Guo
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

  • Membrane
  • Separation
  • Mass transfer
  • Heat transfer
  • Fouling
  • Selectivity
  • Retention

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Novel Composite Material [email protected]/Pebax Mixed Matrix Membranes for Enhanced CO2/N2 Separation
Membranes 2021, 11(9), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11090693 - 07 Sep 2021
Viewed by 392
Abstract
Mixing a polymer matrix and nanofiller to prepare a mixed matrix membrane (MMM) is an effective method for enhancing gas separation performance. In this work, a unique UiO-66-decorated halloysite nanotubes composite material ([email protected]) was successfully synthesized via a solvothermal method and dispersed into [...] Read more.
Mixing a polymer matrix and nanofiller to prepare a mixed matrix membrane (MMM) is an effective method for enhancing gas separation performance. In this work, a unique UiO-66-decorated halloysite nanotubes composite material ([email protected]) was successfully synthesized via a solvothermal method and dispersed into the Pebax-1657 matrix to prepare MMMs for CO2/N2 separation. A remarkable characteristic of this MMM was that the HNT lumen provided the highway for CO2 diffusion due to the unique affinity of UiO-66 for CO2. Simultaneously, the close connection of the UiO-66 layer on the external surface of HNTs created relatively continuous pathways for gas permeation. A suite of microscopy, diffraction, and thermal techniques was used to characterize the morphology and structure of [email protected] and the membranes. As expected, the embedding [email protected] composite materials significantly improved the separation performances of the membranes. Impressively, the as-obtained membrane acquired a high CO2 permeability of 119.08 Barrer and CO2/N2 selectivity of 76.26. Additionally, the presence of [email protected] conferred good long-term stability and excellent interfacial compatibility on the MMMs. The results demonstrated that the composite filler with fast transport pathways designed in this study was an effective strategy to enhance gas separation performance of MMMs, verifying its application potential in the gas purification industry. Full article
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Article
Effects of Processing Conditions and Plasticizing-Reinforcing Modification on the Crystallization and Physical Properties of PLA Films
Membranes 2021, 11(8), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11080640 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 591
Abstract
The polylactic acid (PLA) resin Ingeo 4032D was selected as the research object. Epoxy soybean oil (ESO) and zeolite (3A molecular sieve) were used as plasticizer and reinforcing filler, respectively, for PLA blend modification. The mixture was granulated in an extruder and then [...] Read more.
The polylactic acid (PLA) resin Ingeo 4032D was selected as the research object. Epoxy soybean oil (ESO) and zeolite (3A molecular sieve) were used as plasticizer and reinforcing filler, respectively, for PLA blend modification. The mixture was granulated in an extruder and then blown to obtain films under different conditions to determine the optimum processing temperatures and screw rotation. Then, the thermal behaviour, crystallinity, optical transparency, micro phase structure and physical properties of the film were investigated. The results showed that with increasing zeolite content, the crystallization behaviour of PLA changed, and the haze of the film increased from 5% to 40% compared to the pure PLA film. Zeolite and ESO dispersed in the PLA matrix played a role in toughening and strengthening. The PLA/8 wt% zeolite/3 wt% ESO film had the highest longitudinal tensile strength at 77 MPa. The PLA/2 wt% zeolite/3 wt% ESO film had the highest longitudinal elongation at 13%. The physical properties depended heavily on the dispersion of zeolite and ESO in the matrix. Full article
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Article
Silica Fouling in Reverse Osmosis Systems–Operando Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Studies
Membranes 2021, 11(6), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11060413 - 30 May 2021
Viewed by 1125
Abstract
We present operando small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments on silica fouling at two reverse osmose (RO) membranes under almost realistic conditions of practiced RO desalination technique. To its realization, two cells were designed for pressure fields and tangential feed cross-flows up to 50 [...] Read more.
We present operando small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments on silica fouling at two reverse osmose (RO) membranes under almost realistic conditions of practiced RO desalination technique. To its realization, two cells were designed for pressure fields and tangential feed cross-flows up to 50 bar and 36 L/h, one cell equipped with the membrane and the other one as an empty cell to measure the feed solution in parallel far from the membrane. We studied several aqueous silica dispersions combining the parameters of colloidal radius, volume fraction, and ionic strength. A relevant result is the observation of Bragg diffraction as part of the SANS scattering pattern, representing a crystalline cake layer of simple cubic lattice structure. Other relevant parameters are silica colloidal size and volume fraction far from and above the membrane, as well as the lattice parameter of the silica cake layer, its volume fraction, thickness, and porosity in comparison with the corresponding permeate flux. The experiments show that the formation of cake layer depends to a large extent on colloidal size, ionic strength and cross-flow. Cake layer formation proved to be a reversible process, which could be dissolved at larger cross-flow. Only in one case we observed an irreversible cake layer formation showing the characteristics of an unstable phase transition. We likewise observed enhanced silica concentration and/or cake formation above the membrane, giving indication of a first order liquid–solid phase transformation. Full article
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Article
Cu(I/II) Metal–Organic Frameworks Incorporated Nanofiltration Membranes for Organic Solvent Separation
Membranes 2020, 10(11), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10110313 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
Copper-based metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) with different oxidation states and near-uniform particle sizes have been successfully synthesized. Mixed-matrix polyimide membranes incorporating 0.1–7 wt% of Cu(II) benzene-1,2,5-tricarboxylic acid (Cu(II)BTC), Cu(I/II)BTC and Cu(I) 1,2-ethanedisulfonic acid (EDS) (Cu(I)EDS) MOFs were fabricated via non-solvent-induced phase inversion process. These [...] Read more.
Copper-based metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) with different oxidation states and near-uniform particle sizes have been successfully synthesized. Mixed-matrix polyimide membranes incorporating 0.1–7 wt% of Cu(II) benzene-1,2,5-tricarboxylic acid (Cu(II)BTC), Cu(I/II)BTC and Cu(I) 1,2-ethanedisulfonic acid (EDS) (Cu(I)EDS) MOFs were fabricated via non-solvent-induced phase inversion process. These membranes are found to be solvent resistant and mechanically stable. Liquid phase nanofiltration experiments were performed to separate toluene from n-heptane at room temperature. These membranes demonstrate preferential adsorption and permeation of the aromatic toluene over aliphatic n-heptane. The amount of MOF particles incorporated, the oxidation state of the Cu ion and membrane, and barrier layer thickness have a significant impact on the separation factor. Toluene/heptane separation factor at 1.47, 1.67 and 1.79 can be obtained for membranes incorporating 7 wt% Cu(II)BTC, Cu(I/II)BTC and Cu(I)EDS respectively at room temperature. Full article
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Article
Direct Measurements of Electroviscous Phenomena in Nafion Membranes
Membranes 2020, 10(11), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10110304 - 25 Oct 2020
Viewed by 580
Abstract
Investigation of electroviscous effects is of interest to technologies that exploit transport of ions through ion exchange membranes, charged capillaries, and porous media. When ions move through such media due to a hydrostatic pressure difference, they interact with the fixed charges, leading to [...] Read more.
Investigation of electroviscous effects is of interest to technologies that exploit transport of ions through ion exchange membranes, charged capillaries, and porous media. When ions move through such media due to a hydrostatic pressure difference, they interact with the fixed charges, leading to an increased hydraulic resistance. Experimentally this is observed as an apparent increase in the viscosity of the solution. Electroviscous effects are present in all electrochemical membrane-based processes ranging from nanofiltration to fuel-cells and redox flow batteries. Direct measurements of electroviscous effects varying the applied ionic current through Nafion membranes have, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, not yet been reported in literature. In the current study, electroviscous phenomena in different Nafion ion exchange membranes are measured directly with a method where the volume permeation is measured under constant trans-membrane pressure difference while varying the ion current density in the membrane. The direct measurement of the electroviscous effect is compared to the one calculated from the phenomenological transport equations and measured transport coefficients. Within the experimental uncertainty, there is a good agreement between the two values for all membranes tested. We report here an electroviscous effect for all Nafion membranes tested to be κH?κH1=1.150.052+0.035. Full article
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Review

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Review
Review of Transport Phenomena and Popular Modelling Approaches in Membrane Distillation
Membranes 2021, 11(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11020122 - 08 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1025
Abstract
In this paper, the transport phenomena in four common membrane distillation (MD) configurations and three popular modelling approaches are introduced. The mechanism of heat transfer on the feed side of all configurations are the same but are distinctive from each other from the [...] Read more.
In this paper, the transport phenomena in four common membrane distillation (MD) configurations and three popular modelling approaches are introduced. The mechanism of heat transfer on the feed side of all configurations are the same but are distinctive from each other from the membrane interface to the bulk permeate in each configuration. Based on the features of MD configurations, the mechanisms of mass and heat transfers for four configurations are reviewed together from the bulk feed to the membrane interface on the permeate but reviewed separately from the interface to the bulk permeate. Since the temperature polarisation coefficient cannot be used to quantify the driving force polarisation in Sweeping Gas MD and Vacuum MD, the rate of driving force polarisation is proposed in this paper. The three popular modelling approaches introduced are modelling by conventional methods, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and response surface methodology (RSM), which are based on classic transport mechanism, computer science and mathematical statistics, respectively. The default assumptions, area for applications, advantages and disadvantages of those modelling approaches are summarised. Assessment and comparison were also conducted based on the review. Since there are only a couple of full-scale plants operating worldwide, the modelling of operational cost of MD was only briefly reviewed. Gaps and future studies were also proposed based on the current research trends, such as the emergence of new membranes, which possess the characteristics of selectivity, anti-wetting, multilayer and incorporation of inorganic particles. Full article
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Review
A Review on Current Development of Membranes for Oil Removal from Wastewaters
Membranes 2020, 10(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10040065 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1463
Abstract
The current situation with the problems associated with the removal of oil from wastewaters by membranes is being explored. Many types of membranes have been investigated—organic polymers, inorganic or ceramic species and hybrids of the two. Polymeric membranes can be designed to facilitate [...] Read more.
The current situation with the problems associated with the removal of oil from wastewaters by membranes is being explored. Many types of membranes have been investigated—organic polymers, inorganic or ceramic species and hybrids of the two. Polymeric membranes can be designed to facilitate the passage of oil, but the more successful approach is with hydrophilic types that encourage the passage of water. Ceramic membranes have an advantage here as they are less often irreversibly fouled and give a higher recovery of oil, with a lower flux decline. Furthermore, they can be cleaned up by a simple heating procedure. More attention should be given to understanding the mechanism of fouling so that operating conditions can be optimised to further reduce fouling and further decrease the flux decline, as well as assisting in the design of antifouling membranes. Another obstacle to ceramic membrane use is the high cost of manufacture. Cheaper starting materials such as clays have been surveyed. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

 

 

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