Special Issue "Membranes for Water, Gas and Ion Separation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 February 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Seungju Kim
Website
Guest Editor
The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
Interests: desalination; gas separation; membrane materials; composite membranes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to the high energy efficiency of membrane-based separation processes, they have become an alternative to energy-intensive, traditional separation processes. Membrane applications, such as gas separation, water and liquid purification by microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis desalination, have been successfully applied and contributed to industrial-scale operations, such as natural gas production, pharmaceuticals, greenhouse gas separation, potable water production, seawater desalination, domestic and industrial wastewater treatment, and electrodialysis during the last few decades. Although membranes have continuously shown potential in separation to minimise energy consumption, there is still room for further development in materials and processes for better performance and adaptability.

This Special Issue on “Membranes for Water, Gas, and Ion Separation” of the journal Membranes seeks contributions to assess the state-of-the-art and future developments in the field of membrane materials, modules, and processes in both industries and academia. Authors are invited to submit their latest results and outcomes, including original papers and reviews.

Dr. Seungju Kim
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 1400 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

  • Polymer membrane
  • Inorganic membrane
  • Composite membrane
  • Membrane module
  • Desalination
  • Nanofiltration
  • Gas separation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Sodium Hypochlorite Treatment on Pore Size Distribution of Polysulfone/Polyvinylpyrrolidone Membranes
Membranes 2020, 10(11), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10110356 - 19 Nov 2020
Abstract
This work was focused on the study of hypochlorite treatment on the pore size distribution of membranes. To this end, ultrafiltration membranes from a polysulfone/polyvinylpyrrolidone blend with a sponge-like structure were fabricated and exposed to hypochlorite solutions with different active chlorine concentrations for [...] Read more.
This work was focused on the study of hypochlorite treatment on the pore size distribution of membranes. To this end, ultrafiltration membranes from a polysulfone/polyvinylpyrrolidone blend with a sponge-like structure were fabricated and exposed to hypochlorite solutions with different active chlorine concentrations for 4 h at ambient temperature. Liquid–liquid displacement and scanning electron microscopy were employed to study the limiting and surface pores, respectively. After treatment with 50 ppm hypochlorite solution at pH = 7.2, a five-fold increase in water permeance up to 1400 L/(m2·h·bar) was observed, accompanied by a 40% increase in the limiting pore sizes and almost a three-fold increase in the porosity. After 5000 ppm treatment at pH = 11.5, a 40% rise in the maximum limiting pore size and almost a two-fold increase in the porosity and permeance was observed, whereas the mean pore size was constant. Apparently, changes in the membrane structure at pH = 11.5 were connected with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) degradation and wash-out, whereas at lower pH and despite lower active chlorine concentration, this process was coupled with polysulfone (PSf) destruction and removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Water, Gas and Ion Separation)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Hyperbranch-Crosslinked S-SEBS Block Copolymer Membranes for Desalination by Pervaporation
Membranes 2020, 10(10), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10100277 - 10 Oct 2020
Abstract
Sulfonated aromatic polymer (SAP) featuring hydrophilic nanochannels for water transport is a promising membrane material for desalination. SAPs with a high sulfonation degree favor water transport but suffer from reduced mechanical strength and membrane swelling. In this work, a hyperbranched polyester, H302, was [...] Read more.
Sulfonated aromatic polymer (SAP) featuring hydrophilic nanochannels for water transport is a promising membrane material for desalination. SAPs with a high sulfonation degree favor water transport but suffer from reduced mechanical strength and membrane swelling. In this work, a hyperbranched polyester, H302, was introduced to crosslink a sulfonated styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene (S-SEBS) copolymer membrane. The effects of crosslinking temperature and amount of H302 on the microstructure, and the pervaporation desalination performance of the membrane, were investigated. H302/S-SEBS copolymer membranes with different crosslinking conditions were characterized by various techniques including FTIR, DSC, EA, SEM, TEM and SAXS, and tensile strength, water sorption and contact angle measurements. The results indicate that the introduction of hyperbranched polyester enlarged the hydrophilic microdomain of the S-SEBS membrane. Crosslinking with hyperbranched polyester with heat treatment effectively enhanced the mechanical strength of the S-SEBS membrane, with the tensile strength being increased by 140–200% and the swelling ratio reduced by 45–70%, while reasonable water flux was maintained. When treating 5 wt% hypersaline water at 65 °C, the optimized crosslinked membrane containing 15 wt% H302 and heated at 100 °C reached a water flux of 9.3 kg·m−2·h−1 and a salt rejection of 99.9%. The results indicate that the hyperbranched-S-SEBS membrane is promising for use in PV desalination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Water, Gas and Ion Separation)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Urine Treatment on the International Space Station: Current Practice and Novel Approaches
Membranes 2020, 10(11), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10110327 - 02 Nov 2020
Abstract
A reliable, robust, and resilient water recovery system is of paramount importance on board the International Space Station (ISS). Such a system must be able to treat all sources of water, thereby reducing resupply costs and allowing for longer-term space missions. As such, [...] Read more.
A reliable, robust, and resilient water recovery system is of paramount importance on board the International Space Station (ISS). Such a system must be able to treat all sources of water, thereby reducing resupply costs and allowing for longer-term space missions. As such, technologies able to dewater urine in microgravity have been investigated by different space agencies. However, despite over 50 years of research and advancements on water extraction from human urine, the Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) and the Water Processor Assembly (WPA) now operating on the ISS still achieve suboptimal water recovery rates and require periodic consumables resupply. Additionally, urine brine from the treatment is collected for disposal and not yet reused. These factors, combined with the need for a life support system capable of tolerating even dormant periods of up to one year, make the research in this field ever more critical. As such, in the last decade, extensive research was conducted on the adaptation of existing or emerging technologies for the ISS context. In virtue of having a strong chemical resistance, small footprint, tuneable selectivity and versatility, novel membrane-based processes have been in focus for treating human urine. Their hybridisation with thermal and biological processes as well as the combination with new nanomaterials have been particularly investigated. This article critically reviews the UPA and WPA processes currently in operation on the ISS, summarising the research directions and needs, highlighted by major space agencies, necessary for allowing life support for missions outside the Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Additionally, it reviews the technologies recently proposed to improve the performance of the system as well as new concepts to allow for the valorisation of the nutrients in urine or the brine after urine dewatering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Water, Gas and Ion Separation)
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