Special Issue "Membrane Processes and Materials for a Sustainable Bioeconomy"

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

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

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Isabel Coelhoso
Website
Guest Editor
LAQV, REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: membrane separation processes; membrane contactors for process intensification; design of membranes based in biopolymers for biotechnology applications
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last decades, considerable effort has been devoted to developing better membranes and extending their range of application to different areas. Membrane processes already play an established role in gas separation and water treatment, and their application in food, pharmaceutical, and health areas has been continuously increasing. In recent years, membrane processes proved to have a key role also in biorefinery and bioenergy production processes, namely for process intensification and products recovery and purification. 

Moreover, growing environmental concerns have drawn people’s attention to the use of fossil-based polymers and toxic solvents for membrane fabrication. Therefore, the development of new membranes, using polymers from renewable sources and more sustainable methods of fabrication, is being pursued.

This Special Issue aims to give an overview of the challenges and trends in membrane processes and materials for a sustainable bioeconomy.

Dr. Isabel Coelhoso
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 1200 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 processes
  • bioeconomy
  • biorefineries
  • bioenergy
  • renewable sources
  • sustainability

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Purification of Arabinoxylans from Corn Fiber and Preparation of Bioactive Films for Food Packaging
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050095 - 11 May 2020
Abstract
Corn fiber, a by-product of the starch industry, is presently incorporated in animal feed. However, it has arabinoxylans as added-value components (besides ferulic acid) that should be valorized. In this work, the raw material, a fraction enriched in arabinoxylans from corn fiber, previously [...] Read more.
Corn fiber, a by-product of the starch industry, is presently incorporated in animal feed. However, it has arabinoxylans as added-value components (besides ferulic acid) that should be valorized. In this work, the raw material, a fraction enriched in arabinoxylans from corn fiber, previously produced by alkaline extraction from corn fiber and pre-concentrated by ultrafiltration, was further purified. The use of ultrafiltration operated in diafiltration mode (dia-ultrafiltration) was evaluated for the purification of the arabinoxylans fraction. The objective was to maximize the removal of the small contaminants from the fraction and to maximize the permeability and/or the permeate flux, by selecting the relevant operating conditions involved in this process. The removal of contaminants (%) was estimated when their apparent rejection stabilized. Edible films were produced, from the resultant purified arabinoxylans fraction, using glycerol as plasticizer (30% dry basis). Additionally, films with the incorporation of ferulic acid were developed, in order to obtain barriers with antioxidant activity. The films were characterized in terms of mechanical properties, antioxidant activity and permeability to water vapor. The films prepared presented a good potential to be used as packaging for food products with low water content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes and Materials for a Sustainable Bioeconomy)
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Open AccessArticle
Valorization of Fish by-Products: Purification of Bioactive Peptides from Codfish Blood and Sardine Cooking Wastewaters by Membrane Processing
Membranes 2020, 10(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10030044 - 13 Mar 2020
Abstract
Codfish blood and sardine cooking wastewaters were processed using membrane ultrafiltration that allowed for the preparation of bioactive peptides enriched fractions. The raw materials and corresponding permeates were characterized chemically and in terms of biological properties. The fractionation process was evaluated by analyzing [...] Read more.
Codfish blood and sardine cooking wastewaters were processed using membrane ultrafiltration that allowed for the preparation of bioactive peptides enriched fractions. The raw materials and corresponding permeates were characterized chemically and in terms of biological properties. The fractionation process was evaluated by analyzing the selective permeation of small peptides (<1 kDa) from larger compounds when using membranes with different molecular weight cut-offs (MWCOs) combined with different materials (MW, PW, and UP010 for codfish blood) and when operated at different transmembrane pressures (with GH for sardine cooking wastewaters). A rejection of the protein/peptides >10 kDa was achieved for both raw materials with the studied membranes. Also, low values of rejection of peptides <1 kDa were accomplished, namely 2% with UP010 from codfish blood and 23% when operated at minimum pressure (1.0 bar) with GH from sardine wastewaters. The peptide fractions from codfish blood with MW and UP010 exhibited the highest ABTS+ and ORAC values. Peptide fractions from sardine wastewaters with GH demonstrated no improvement in antioxidant activity compared to sardine wastewaters. The antimicrobial results showed that the peptide fractions from codfish blood with UP010 and from sardine with GH at 1.0 bar were capable of inhibiting Escherichia coli growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes and Materials for a Sustainable Bioeconomy)
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Open AccessArticle
Innovative Poly (Vinylidene Fluoride) (PVDF) Electrospun Nanofiber Membrane Preparation Using DMSO as a Low Toxicity Solvent
Membranes 2020, 10(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10030036 - 26 Feb 2020
Abstract
Electrospinning is an emerging technique for the preparation of electrospun fiber membranes (ENMs), and a very promising one on the basis of the high-yield and the scalability of the process according to a process intensification strategy. Most of the research reported in the [...] Read more.
Electrospinning is an emerging technique for the preparation of electrospun fiber membranes (ENMs), and a very promising one on the basis of the high-yield and the scalability of the process according to a process intensification strategy. Most of the research reported in the literature has been focused on the preparation of poly (vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) ENMs by using N,N- dimethylformamide (DMF) as a solvent, which is considered a mutagenic and cancerogenic substance. Hence, the possibility of using alternative solvents represents an interesting approach to investigate. In this work, we explored the use of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as a low toxicity solvent in a mixture with acetone for the preparation of PVDF-ENMs. As a first step, a solubility study of the polymer, PVDF 6012 Solef®, in several DMSO/acetone mixtures was carried out, and then, different operating conditions (e.g., applied voltage and needle to collector plate distance) for the successful electrospinning of the ENMs were evaluated. The study provided evidence of the crucial role of solution conductivity in the electrospinning phase and the thermal post-treatment. The prepared ENMs were characterized by evaluating the morphology (by SEM), pore-size, porosity, surface properties, and performance in terms of water permeability. The obtained results showed the possibility of producing ENMs in a more sustainable way, with a pore size in the range of 0.2–0.8 µm, high porosity (above 80%), and water flux in the range of 11.000–38.000 L/m2·h·bar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes and Materials for a Sustainable Bioeconomy)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Cellulose-Based Polymer for Efficient Removal of Methylene Blue
Membranes 2020, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10010013 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
A novel cellulose-based cross-linked polymer, dicarboxymethyl cellulose (DCMC), has been synthesized and used for methylene blue (MB) removal. Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nitrogen porosimetry, and optical microscopy were employed to characterize the structure of the cellulose-based [...] Read more.
A novel cellulose-based cross-linked polymer, dicarboxymethyl cellulose (DCMC), has been synthesized and used for methylene blue (MB) removal. Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nitrogen porosimetry, and optical microscopy were employed to characterize the structure of the cellulose-based adsorbent. The number of carboxylate groups per gram of polymer (CG) was calculated with sodium content determined by ICP-AES. Systematic equilibrium and kinetic adsorption studies were performed to assess the polymer suitability for dye removal. The effect of pH on its adsorption capacity was also studied and the equilibrium adsorption data was analyzed using Langmuir, Freundlich, and Sips isotherms. At pH = 3, the adsorption isotherms followed the Langmuir model with a maximum adsorption capacity of 887.6 mg/g. At pH = 6.4, the adsorption isotherms produced S-shape curves and were best fitted with the Sips model. The maximum MB uptake increased to 1354.6 mg/g. Pseudo first-order and second-order models were used to fit the kinetic data. A pseudo second-order kinetic model provided the best correlation for the adsorption of MB onto DCMC. Adsorption coupled with membrane filtration achieved 95% methylene blue removal and DCMC can be successfully regenerated and reused in consecutive experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes and Materials for a Sustainable Bioeconomy)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Microalgae in Food-Energy-Water Nexus: A Review on Progress of Forward Osmosis Applications
Membranes 2019, 9(12), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9120166 - 05 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Nowadays the world is facing vulnerability problems related to food, energy and water demands. The challenges in those subsystems are intertwined and thus require inter-discipline approaches to address them. Bioresources offer promising solutions of the dilemma. Microalgae biomass is expected to become a [...] Read more.
Nowadays the world is facing vulnerability problems related to food, energy and water demands. The challenges in those subsystems are intertwined and thus require inter-discipline approaches to address them. Bioresources offer promising solutions of the dilemma. Microalgae biomass is expected to become a superfood and a favorable energy feedstock and assist in supplying clean water and treat wastewater. Efficient mass production of microalgae, both during upstream and downstream processes, is thus a key process for providing high quality and affordable microalgae biomass. This paper covers recent progress in microalgae harvesting and dewatering by using osmotic driven membrane process, i.e., forward osmosis. Critical factors during forward osmosis process for microalgae harvesting and dewatering are discussed. Finally, perspective on further research directions and implementation scenarios of the forward osmosis are also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes and Materials for a Sustainable Bioeconomy)
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