Polymer-Based Multifunctional Materials for Water/Wastewater Remediation

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 27438

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1. Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA), Department of Biology, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
2. IB-S–Institute of Research and Innovation on Bio-Sustainability, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: nanoparticles synthesis; nanocomposites; membranes; photocatalysis; adsorption; water remediation
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Basque Center for Materials, Applications & Nanostructures, s/n, Edif. Martina Casiano, Pl. 3 Parque Científico UPV/EHU Barrio Sarriena, 48940 Leioa, Bizkaia
Interests: metal-organic frameworks; water remediation; heavy metals; photodegratadation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water pollution is one of the most relevant environmental problems and one of the most significant challenges that humankind is facing. Among the most pressing concerns are emergent pollutants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and heavy metals), mainly because of their resilience to traditional biological and chemical water treatments. This context demands more robust, lasting, non-expensive and efficient materials to remove this diversity of hazardous pollutants. Membrane technologies are gradually substituting conventional water treatments because of their high efficiency and cost-effectiveness. When compared with other types of materials, polymeric membranes dominate because they are economically and practically beneficial. further, the easy processability of polymers imposes fewer limitations regarding the addition of fillers, such as nano/microparticles, to the polymeric matrix. These fillers allow producing multifunctional membranes with photocatalytic, adsorptive, antifouling, antimicrobial, sensing and other functionalities in addition to the typical filtration ability.

This Special Issue on “Polymer-Based Multifunctional Materials for Water/Wastewater Remediation” pursues high-quality and innovative works regarding the production, characterisation and application of all types of polymer-based multifunctional membranes to remove contaminants from water. Studies employing recent techniques (e.g., 3D Printing technologies) for membrane production are particularly welcome.

Dr. Pedro Manuel Martins
Dr. Roberto Fernández de Luis
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Photocatalysis
  • Adsorption
  • Antimicrobial
  • Emergent pollutants
  • Membranes
  • Water remediation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 1170 KiB  
Article
Wastewater Treatment of Real Effluents by Microfiltration Using Poly(vinylidene fluoride–hexafluoropropylene) Membranes
by Djamila Zioui, Pedro Manuel Martins, Lamine Aoudjit, Hugo Salazar and Senentxu Lanceros-Méndez
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051143 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
Over the last decades, the growing contamination of wastewater, mainly caused by industrial processes, improper sewage, natural calamities, and a variety of anthropogenic activities, has caused an increase in water-borne diseases. Notably, industrial applications require careful consideration as they pose significant threats to [...] Read more.
Over the last decades, the growing contamination of wastewater, mainly caused by industrial processes, improper sewage, natural calamities, and a variety of anthropogenic activities, has caused an increase in water-borne diseases. Notably, industrial applications require careful consideration as they pose significant threats to human health and ecosystem biodiversity due to the production of persistent and complex contaminants. The present work reports on the development, characterization, and application of a poly (vinylidene fluoride—hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP) porous membrane for the remediation of a wide range of contaminants from wastewater withdrawn from industrial applications. The PVDF-HFP membrane showed a micrometric porous structure with thermal, chemical, and mechanical stability and a hydrophobic nature, leading to high permeability. The prepared membranes exhibited simultaneous activity on the removal of organic matter (total suspended and dissolved solids, TSS, and TDS, respectively), the mitigation of salinity in 50%, and the effective removal of some inorganic anions and heavy metals, achieving efficiencies around 60% for nickel, cadmium, and lead. The membrane proved to be a suitable approach for wastewater treatment, as it showed potential for the simultaneous remediation of a wide range of contaminants. Thus, the as-prepared PVDF-HFP membrane and the designed membrane reactor represent an efficient, straightforward, and low-cost alternative as a pretreatment step for continuous treatment processes for simultaneous organic and inorganic contaminants’ remediation in real industrial effluent sources. Full article
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15 pages, 2783 KiB  
Article
Starch Biocryogel for Removal of Methylene Blue by Batch Adsorption
by Tarawee Taweekarn, Worawit Wongniramaikul, Chanita Boonkanon, Chonthicha Phanrit, Wilasinee Sriprom, Wadcharawadee Limsakul, Wanchitra Towanlong, Chanadda Phawachalotorn and Aree Choodum
Polymers 2022, 14(24), 5543; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14245543 - 18 Dec 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2024
Abstract
A green monolithic starch cryogel was prepared and applied for the removal of methylene blue (MB) using a batch system. The influence of various experimental parameters on MB adsorption was investigated. High removal efficiency (81.58 ± 0.59%) and adsorption capacity (34.84 mg g [...] Read more.
A green monolithic starch cryogel was prepared and applied for the removal of methylene blue (MB) using a batch system. The influence of various experimental parameters on MB adsorption was investigated. High removal efficiency (81.58 ± 0.59%) and adsorption capacity (34.84 mg g−1) were achieved. The Langmuir model better fitted the experimental data (determination coefficient (R2) = 0.9838) than the Freundlich one (R2 = 0.8542), while the kinetics of MB adsorption on the cryogel followed a pseudo-second-order model. The adsorption process was spontaneous and endothermic with an activation energy of 37.8 kJ mol−1 that indicated physical adsorption. The starch cryogel was used for MB removal from a wastewater sample collected from a local Batik production community enterprise in Phuket, Thailand, and a removal efficiency of 75.6% was achieved, indicating that it has a high potential as a green adsorbent for MB removal. Full article
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18 pages, 3744 KiB  
Article
Reusable Ag@TiO2-Based Photocatalytic Nanocomposite Membranes for Solar Degradation of Contaminants of Emerging Concern
by Lamine Aoudjit, Hugo Salazar, Djamila Zioui, Aicha Sebti, Pedro Manuel Martins and Senentxu Lanceros-Mendez
Polymers 2021, 13(21), 3718; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13213718 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2498
Abstract
Two significant limitations of using TiO2 nanoparticles for water treatment applications are reduced photocatalytic activity under visible radiation and difficulty recovering the particles after use. In this study, round-shaped Ag@TiO2 nanocomposites with a ≈21 nm diameter and a bandgap energy of [...] Read more.
Two significant limitations of using TiO2 nanoparticles for water treatment applications are reduced photocatalytic activity under visible radiation and difficulty recovering the particles after use. In this study, round-shaped Ag@TiO2 nanocomposites with a ≈21 nm diameter and a bandgap energy of 2.8 eV were synthesised by a deposition-precipitation method. These nanocomposites were immobilised into a porous poly (vinylidene fluoride-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP) matrix and well-distributed within the pores. The photocatalytic activity of Ag@TiO2/PVDF-HFP against metronidazole (MNZ) under solar radiation was evaluated. Further, an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) was applied to predict the effect of four independent variables, including initial pollutant concentration, pH, light irradiation intensity, and reaction time, on the photocatalytic performance of the composite membrane on MNZ degradation. The 10% Ag@TiO2/PVDF-HFP composite membrane showed a maximum removal efficiency of 100% after 5 h under solar radiation. After three use cycles, this efficiency remained practically constant, demonstrating the membranes’ reusability and suitability for water remediation applications. Full article
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11 pages, 2512 KiB  
Article
Sulfobetaine Cryogels for Preferential Adsorption of Methyl Orange from Mixed Dye Solutions
by Ramona B. J. Ihlenburg, Anne-Catherine Lehnen, Joachim Koetz and Andreas Taubert
Polymers 2021, 13(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13020208 - 8 Jan 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2391
Abstract
New cryogels for selective dye removal from aqueous solution were prepared by free radical polymerization from the highly water-soluble crosslinker N,N,N’,N’-tetramethyl-N,N’-bis(2-ethylmethacrylate)-propyl-1,3-diammonium dibromide and the sulfobetaine monomer 2-(N-3-sulfopropyl-N,N-dimethyl ammonium)ethyl methacrylate. The resulting white and opaque cryogels have micrometer sized pores with a smaller substructure. [...] Read more.
New cryogels for selective dye removal from aqueous solution were prepared by free radical polymerization from the highly water-soluble crosslinker N,N,N’,N’-tetramethyl-N,N’-bis(2-ethylmethacrylate)-propyl-1,3-diammonium dibromide and the sulfobetaine monomer 2-(N-3-sulfopropyl-N,N-dimethyl ammonium)ethyl methacrylate. The resulting white and opaque cryogels have micrometer sized pores with a smaller substructure. They adsorb methyl orange (MO) but not methylene blue (MB) from aqueous solution. Mixtures of MO and MB can be separated through selective adsorption of the MO to the cryogels while the MB remains in solution. The resulting cryogels are thus candidates for the removal of hazardous organic substances, as exemplified by MO and MB, from water. Clearly, it is possible that the cryogels are also potentially interesting for removal of other compounds such as pharmaceuticals or pesticides, but this must be investigated further. Full article
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24 pages, 5274 KiB  
Article
Influence of Multidimensional Graphene Oxide (GO) Sheets on Anti-Biofouling and Desalination Performance of Thin-Film Composite Membranes: Effects of GO Lateral Sizes and Oxidation Degree
by Bárbara E. Rodríguez, María Magdalena Armendariz-Ontiveros, Rodrigo Quezada, Esther A. Huitrón-Segovia, Humberto Estay, Alejandra García García and Andreina García
Polymers 2020, 12(12), 2860; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12122860 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2521
Abstract
The influence of the lateral size and the content of graphene oxide (GO) flakes in specific oxygenate functional groups on the anti-biofouling properties and performance of thin-film composite membrane (TFC) was studied. Three different multidimensional GO samples were prepared with small (500–1200 nm), [...] Read more.
The influence of the lateral size and the content of graphene oxide (GO) flakes in specific oxygenate functional groups on the anti-biofouling properties and performance of thin-film composite membrane (TFC) was studied. Three different multidimensional GO samples were prepared with small (500–1200 nm), medium (1200–2300 nm), and large (2300–3600 nm) size distribution, and with different degrees of oxidation (GO3 > GO2 > GO1), varying the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide amount during GO synthesis. GO1 sheets’ length have a heterogeneous size distribution containing all size groups, whilst GO2 is contained in a medium-size group, and GO3 is totally contained within a small-size group. Moreover, GO oxygenate groups were controlled. GO2 and GO3 have hydroxyl and epoxy groups at the basal plane of their sheets. Meanwhile, GO1 presented only hydroxyl groups. GO sheets were incorporated into the polyamide (PA) layer of the TFC membrane during the interfacial polymerization reaction. The incorporation of GO1 produced a modified membrane with excellent bactericidal properties and anti-adhesion capacity, as well as superior desalination performance with high water flow (133% as compared with the unmodified membrane). For GO2 and GO3, despite the significant anti-biofouling effect, a detrimental impact on desalination performance was observed. The high content of large sheets in GO2 and small sheet stacking in GO3 produced an unfavorable impact on the water flow. Therefore, the synergistic effect due to the presence of large- and small-sized GO sheets and high content of OH-functional groups (GO1) made it possible to balance the performance of the membrane. Full article
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Review

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38 pages, 4929 KiB  
Review
Modified Electrospun Polymeric Nanofibers and Their Nanocomposites as Nanoadsorbents for Toxic Dye Removal from Contaminated Waters: A Review
by Badr M. Thamer, Ali Aldalbahi, Meera Moydeen A, Mostafizur Rahaman and Mohamed H. El-Newehy
Polymers 2021, 13(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13010020 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 60 | Viewed by 6684
Abstract
Electrospun polymer nanofibers (EPNFs) as one-dimensional nanostructures are characterized by a high surface area-to-volume ratio, high porosity, large number of adsorption sites and high adsorption capacity. These properties nominate them to be used as an effective adsorbent for the removal of water pollutants [...] Read more.
Electrospun polymer nanofibers (EPNFs) as one-dimensional nanostructures are characterized by a high surface area-to-volume ratio, high porosity, large number of adsorption sites and high adsorption capacity. These properties nominate them to be used as an effective adsorbent for the removal of water pollutants such as heavy metals, dyes and other pollutants. Organic dyes are considered one of the most hazardous water pollutants due to their toxic effects even at very low concentrations. To overcome this problem, the adsorption technique has proven its high effectiveness towards the removal of such pollutants from aqueous systems. The use of the adsorption technique depends mainly on the properties, efficacy, cost and reusability of the adsorbent. So, the use of EPNFs as adsorbents for dye removal has received increasing attention due to their unique properties, adsorption efficiency and reusability. Moreover, the adsorption efficiency and stability of EPNFs in aqueous media can be improved via their surface modification. This review provides a relevant literature survey over the last two decades on the fabrication and surface modification of EPNFs by an electrospinning technique and their use of adsorbents for the removal of various toxic dyes from contaminated water. Factors affecting the adsorption capacity of EPNFs, the best adsorption conditions and adsorption mechanism of dyes onto the surface of various types of modified EPNFs are also discussed. Finally, the adsorption capacity, isotherm and kinetic models for describing the adsorption of dyes using modified and composite EPNFs are discussed. Full article
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42 pages, 13920 KiB  
Review
A Critical Review on Metal-Organic Frameworks and Their Composites as Advanced Materials for Adsorption and Photocatalytic Degradation of Emerging Organic Pollutants from Wastewater
by Zakariyya Uba Zango, Khairulazhar Jumbri, Nonni Soraya Sambudi, Anita Ramli, Noor Hana Hanif Abu Bakar, Bahruddin Saad, Muhammad Nur’ Hafiz Rozaini, Hamza Ahmad Isiyaka, Ahmad Hussaini Jagaba, Osamah Aldaghri and Abdelmoneim Sulieman
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2648; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112648 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 102 | Viewed by 8632
Abstract
Water-borne emerging pollutants are among the greatest concern of our modern society. Many of these pollutants are categorized as endocrine disruptors due to their environmental toxicities. They are harmful to humans, aquatic animals, and plants, to the larger extent, destroying the ecosystem. Thus, [...] Read more.
Water-borne emerging pollutants are among the greatest concern of our modern society. Many of these pollutants are categorized as endocrine disruptors due to their environmental toxicities. They are harmful to humans, aquatic animals, and plants, to the larger extent, destroying the ecosystem. Thus, effective environmental remediations of these pollutants became necessary. Among the various remediation techniques, adsorption and photocatalytic degradation have been single out as the most promising. This review is devoted to the compilations and analysis of the role of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and their composites as potential materials for such applications. Emerging organic pollutants, like dyes, herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceutical products, phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and perfluorinated alkyl substances, have been extensively studied. Important parameters that affect these processes, such as surface area, bandgap, percentage removal, equilibrium time, adsorption capacity, and recyclability, are documented. Finally, we paint the current scenario and challenges that need to be addressed for MOFs and their composites to be exploited for commercial applications. Full article
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