Special Issue "Nano-Hybrid Composite Membranes"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Hadis Zarrin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Nano-Engineering Laboratory for Energy & Environmental Technologies, Department of Chemical Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, M5B 2K3, Ontario, Canada
Interests: nanocomposite membranes; electrolyte membranes; functionalized nanofillers; solid-state and flexible energy storage and conversion systems (e.g., batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells); electrochemical biosensors; self-powered wearables; water and wastewater treatment
Prof. Dr. Nariman Yousefi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada
Interests: polymer nanocomposites; self-assembled nanomaterials; water treatment; graphene and other 2D nanomaterials; porous 3D macrostructures; biomimetic ordered materials; bio-nano interfaces; biocolloids; CO2 to fuel electroconversion
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nano-hybrid composite membranes (NHCMs) are a novel class of membranes that comprise nanofillers incorporated into a polymeric or inorganic matrix to enhance their performance and lifetime in different industrial applications. Utilizing the conventional polymeric (e.g., thermoplastics, thermosets, and conducting polymers) or inorganic materials (metallic, ceramic, and zeolite) for membrane fabrication have certain limitations, including low thermochemical stability of polymers, hydrophobicity and fouling of polymeric membranes, high capital costs of inorganic materials, and trade-off between the permeability and selectivity for both matrices. The incorporation of different nanofillers, such as nanoparticles (e.g., silver, gold, copper), nanotubes, and nanofibers (e.g., metal oxides), nanosheets (e.g., graphene and graphene analogous materials), 3D nanobulks (e.g., metal organic frameworks), and some other novel nanoscale materials, into polymeric or inorganic membranes provides great advantages. Improvements on hydrophilicity, antifouling, selectivity and permeation efficiencies, mechanical properties, optical characteristics, and thermochemical stabilities can be observed by NHCMs as a result of interfacial interactions between matrix/nanofiller, matrix type, processing technique and parameters, and nanofiller content. Furthermore, the addition of nanofillers can create new functions for NHCMs, such as antisepsis, photocatalysis, charge conductivity, and electrocatalytic activities.

This Special Issue on “Nano-Hybrid Composite Membranes” seeks high-quality works focusing on the latest novel advances on NHCM technology for different applications, including but not limited to: gas transport, filtration, water treatment and purification, anticorrosion, biomedical, sensors, harvesting renewable energy, and energy storage and conversion technologies.

Dr. Hadis Zarrin
Dr. Nariman Yousefi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Processes 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 2000 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

  1. Nanocomposite membranes
  2. Nanomaterials
  3. Functionalization
  4. Water and wastewater treatment
  5. Water purification
  6. Desalination
  7. Gas separation
  8. Electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems
  9. Solar cells
  10. Wearable sensors

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
High-Performance Mg–Al–Bi Alloy Anode for Seawater Batteries and Related Mechanisms
Processes 2020, 8(11), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8111362 - 28 Oct 2020
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Bi, a group 15 element, was added to magnesium alloys and applied to seawater batteries in marine operating machinery to improve the electrochemical performance and corrosion resistance of the battery. The electrochemical properties of as-cast pure Mg, Mg–8Al, and Mg–8Al–xBi alloy anodes in [...] Read more.
Bi, a group 15 element, was added to magnesium alloys and applied to seawater batteries in marine operating machinery to improve the electrochemical performance and corrosion resistance of the battery. The electrochemical properties of as-cast pure Mg, Mg–8Al, and Mg–8Al–xBi alloy anodes in 3.5% NaCl solution were researched. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and an immersion test in 3.5% NaCl solution show that the Mg–8%Al–0.4%Bi alloy provides better corrosion resistance than Mg and the Mg–8Al alloy. The galvanostatic discharge results show that the Mg–8%Al–0.4%Bi alloy revealed better electrochemical properties and utilization efficiency in 3.5% NaCl solution. The Mg17Al12 and BiOCl phases formed during the discharge process of the Mg–8%Al–0.4%Bi alloy play an important role in improving the electrochemical performance and utilization efficiency of the alloy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Hybrid Composite Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Ozonation Pretreatment for Reduction of Landfill Leachate Fouling on Membranes: A Response Surface Methodology Analysis
Processes 2020, 8(5), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050506 - 26 Apr 2020
Viewed by 889
Abstract
Batch ozonation was performed to assess its efficacy as a pretreatment for reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for treating leachate with high concentrations of recalcitrant organic compounds. Leachate samples from two different landfills were collected and characterized. The modified fouling index (MFI) was used [...] Read more.
Batch ozonation was performed to assess its efficacy as a pretreatment for reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for treating leachate with high concentrations of recalcitrant organic compounds. Leachate samples from two different landfills were collected and characterized. The modified fouling index (MFI) was used to estimate the fouling potential of raw and ozonized leachates. A response surface experimental design was applied to optimize operational pH and ozone dose. The results demonstrate that the best operational conditions are 1.5 g/L of O3 at pH 12.0 and 1.5 g/L of O3 at pH 9.0 for Landfills 1 and 2, which reduce MFI by 96.22% and 94.08%, respectively. Additionally, they show toxicity factor decays of 98.44% for Landfill 1 and 93.75% for Landfill 2. These results, along with the similar behavior shown by leachate samples from distinct landfills, suggest that ozonation is a promising technology to fit this kind of wastewater into the requirements of RO membranes, enabling their use in such treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Hybrid Composite Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Effect of Oxygen Concentration on the Properties of TiO2/Ti Composite Membranes Prepared by In Situ Oxidation
Processes 2020, 8(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8020213 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
TiO2 membranes were prepared on porous Ti supports through the in situ oxidation method. The effects of oxygen concentration, oxidation temperature, and oxidation time on the thickness, pore size, and microstructure of the prepared TiO2 membrane were investigated. The results showed [...] Read more.
TiO2 membranes were prepared on porous Ti supports through the in situ oxidation method. The effects of oxygen concentration, oxidation temperature, and oxidation time on the thickness, pore size, and microstructure of the prepared TiO2 membrane were investigated. The results showed that with increasing oxygen concentration, oxidation temperature, and oxidation time, the thickness of the prepared TiO2 membrane gradually increased, and the pore diameter gradually decreased. The optimum preparation conditions were—oxygen concentration was N2:O2 = 2:1, oxidation temperature was 800 ℃, and oxidation time was 60 min. The prepared TiO2/Ti composite membranes had a flat and smooth surface, uniform thickness, and only a rutile TiO2 characteristic peak formed on the surface of the membrane. The prepared TiO2/Ti composite membrane had a narrow pore size distribution, and the average pore size was about 0.312 μm. In addition, the prepared TiO2/Ti composite membranes showed an excellent stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Hybrid Composite Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Ion Exchange Dialysis for Aluminium Transport through a Face-Centred Central Composite Design Approach
Processes 2020, 8(2), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8020160 - 30 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 959
Abstract
An ion exchange dialysis (IED) is used in the recovery of aluminium from residue. In this paper, the face-centred central composite design (FC-CCD) of the response surface methodology (RSM) and desirability approach is used for experimental design, modelling and process optimization of a [...] Read more.
An ion exchange dialysis (IED) is used in the recovery of aluminium from residue. In this paper, the face-centred central composite design (FC-CCD) of the response surface methodology (RSM) and desirability approach is used for experimental design, modelling and process optimization of a counter flow IED system. The feed concentration, feed flowrate, sweep flowrate and sweep concentration were selected as the process variables, with the Al transport across a Nafion 117 membrane as the target response. A total of 30 experimental runs were conducted with six centre points. The response obtained was analysed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) and fitted to a second-order polynomial model using multiple regression analysis. The actual R2 and standard deviation of the model are 0.9548 and 0.2932, respectively. Depending on the time zone of reference (24 h or 32 h), the highest enrichment of >1.50 was achieved. The designed variables were numerically optimized by applying the desirability function to achieve the maximum Al transport. The optimised condition values were found to be a feed concentration of 1600 ppm, feed flowrate of 61.76%, sweep flowrate of 37.50% and sweep concentration of 0.75 N for the 80% target response at 32 h. Overall, the model can be used to effectively predict Al recovery using the designed system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Hybrid Composite Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Polyetherimide-Montmorillonite Nano-Hybrid Composite Membranes: CO2 Permeance Study via Theoretical Models
Processes 2020, 8(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8010118 - 17 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
The incorporation of aminolauric acid modified montmorillonite (f-MMT) in polyetherimide (PEI) has been implemented to develop hollow fibre nano-hybrid composite membranes (NHCMs) with improved gas separation characteristics. The aforementioned characteristics are caused by enhanced f-MMT spatial dispersion and interfacial interactions [...] Read more.
The incorporation of aminolauric acid modified montmorillonite (f-MMT) in polyetherimide (PEI) has been implemented to develop hollow fibre nano-hybrid composite membranes (NHCMs) with improved gas separation characteristics. The aforementioned characteristics are caused by enhanced f-MMT spatial dispersion and interfacial interactions with PEI matrix. In this study, existing gas permeation models such as, Nielsen, Cussler, Yang–Cussler, Lape–Cussler and Bharadwaj were adopted to estimate the dispersion state of f-MMT and to predict the CO2 permeance in developed NHCMs. It was found out that the average aspect ratio estimated was 53, with 3 numbers of stacks per unit tactoid, which showed that the intercalation f-MMT morphology is the dominating dispersion state of filler in PEI matrix. Moreover, it was observed that Bharadwaj model showed the least average absolute relative error (%AARE) values till 3 wt. % f-MMT loading in the range of ±10 for a pressure range of 2 to 10 bar. Hence, Bharadwaj was the best fit model for the experimental data compared to other models, as it considers the platelets orientation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Hybrid Composite Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Nano Zero-Valent Iron (nZVI) Activity in Solution and Immobilized in Hydrophilic PVDF Membrane for Drimaren Red X-6BN and Bisphenol-a Removal in Water
Processes 2019, 7(12), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7120904 - 02 Dec 2019
Viewed by 765
Abstract
Fenton reactions that involve nano zero-valent iron (nZVI) have shown high promise in the removal of organic pollutants. In this work, nZVI stabilized with carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was evaluated for drimaren red X-6BN (DRX-6BN, 10 mg/L) and bisphenol-a (BPA, 800 mg/L) removal. Oxidation [...] Read more.
Fenton reactions that involve nano zero-valent iron (nZVI) have shown high promise in the removal of organic pollutants. In this work, nZVI stabilized with carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was evaluated for drimaren red X-6BN (DRX-6BN, 10 mg/L) and bisphenol-a (BPA, 800 mg/L) removal. Oxidation reactions were conducted for removal of both compounds by varying nZVI/CMC concentration (0.01–5 g/L), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, 0.01–0.1 g/L), and pH (3–9). DRX-6BN degradation rate was the highest (kinetic constant (kobs) = 4.622 h−1) when working at pH 3 and 3 g/L of nZVI/CMC. Increasing H2O2 concentration could not improve the reaction. For BPA, all the conditions tested showed removals of more than 96% with 0.02 g/L of H2O2. This result was compared with the activity of nZVI loaded in hydrophilic PVDF (Polyvinylidene fluoride) membranes by polyacrylic acid (PAA) to entrap nanoparticles to the membrane surface. As expected, the attachment of nZVI onto the membranes diminished nanoparticles’ activity; however, it is important to highlight the need for preparing a stable catalytic membrane, which could enhance pollutant removal of microfiltration membranes’ systems. This was confirmed by the percentage of iron leaching from functionalized membranes, where a higher concentration of iron in the bulk solution leads to enhancement on BPA removal. Issues with BPA diffusion resistance inside the pores were overcome by conducting the nZVI/PAA/PVDF membranes in the cross-flow system, reaching 40% of BPA removal after 3 h of permeation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Hybrid Composite Membranes)
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