Advanced Membrane-based Technologies: Fabrication, Characterization, and Applications

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 April 2023) | Viewed by 11676

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Interests: wastewater treatment design and control; membrane filtration; greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

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Guest Editor
1. Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre, School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru 81310, Malaysia
2. Centre for Advanced Composite Materials, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru 81310, Malaysia
Interests: materials engineering (nanomaterials, nanocomposites, adsorbents, composite materials, and microporous and mesoporous materials)
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue entitled “Advanced Membranes-based Technologies: Fabrication, Characterization, and Applications” presents the recent research activities concerning the challenging field of modern membrane science and technology, which addresses global human problems, such as environmental safety and the development of innovative, low-cost, and friendly membrane technologies. This Special Issue covers innovative membrane materials, from their synthesis to characterization and practical applications. This Special Issue covers strategies for the synthesis of porous and dense membrane materials for a variety of membrane processes (membrane contactors, membrane distillation, pervaporation, ultrafiltration, microfiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, forward osmosis, gas and liquid separation, etc.), including the effect of the synthesis and structures of the resultant materials, which influence their real performance. The range of practical uses for membrane materials is extensive, ranging from the treatment of wastewater to special task-targeted applications in environmental monitoring, semiconductor, and biomedical research. Characterizations of membrane materials via diverse physicochemical methods (liquid and gas permeability, X-ray analysis, IR spectroscopy, NMR, and EPR), thermal methods (DSC, TGA, and DMA), and morphological methods (AFM, SEM, TEM, and FESEM) are also included. The challenges related to the modification of membrane materials and the suitability of their applications are also addressed in this work. 

This Special Issue on “Advanced Membrane-based Technologies: Synthesis, Characterization, and Application” will present updated information on this subject for academic researchers, scholars, and technologists interested in all aspects of membrane science, from technology to task-oriented applications of membrane materials. Original research articles and reviews on advanced membrane technologies are welcome. 

The main topics include (but are not limited to): 

  • Synthesis of diverse advanced membrane materials, including composite/nanocomposite membrane materials with functional additives.
  • Structure and morphology of membrane materials.
  • Correlation between the synthesis conditions and structure of membrane materials.
  • Characterization of membrane materials via diverse physicochemical methods (liquid and gas permeability, X-ray analysis, IR spectroscopy, NMR, and EPR), thermal methods (DSC, TGA, and DMA), and morphological methods (AFM, SEM, TEM, and FESEM).
  • Membrane materials’ performance (gas and liquid permeability, selectivity, water vapor transmission rate, oil permeability, sorption, stability, ecological aspects, etc.).
  • Membrane material applications (petroleum refining, mining and metal processes, paint, adhesive, and solvent recovery, semiconductors, membrane contactors, distillation, ultrafiltration, microfiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, forward osmosis, catalytic membranes, selective membranes, gas separation membranes, wastewater treatment, metal removal and treatment, biochemical processes, biomedical applications, breathable materials, scaffolds, separators, food packing, etc.).

Dr. Nur Hafizah Ab Hamid
Dr. Faten Ermala Che Othman
Dr. Rushdan Ahmad Ilyas
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2700 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

  • synthesis of membrane materials
  • characterization of membranes
  • applications of membranes
  • gas and liquid separation
  • membrane hybrid systems
  • membrane technology
  • water purification
  • composite/nanocomposite membranes
  • wastewater treatment
  • heavy metal removal

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 3454 KiB  
Article
ZIF-67 Incorporated Sulfonated Poly (Aryl Ether Sulfone) Mixed Matrix Membranes for Pervaporation Separation of Methanol/Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether Mixture
by Guanglu Han, Jie Lv and Mohan Chen
Membranes 2023, 13(4), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13040389 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1493
Abstract
Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) with nano-fillers dispersed in polymer matrix have been proposed as alternative pervaporation membrane materials. They possess both promising selectivity benefiting from the fillers and economical processing capabilities of polymers. ZIF-67 was synthesized and incorporated into the sulfonated poly (aryl [...] Read more.
Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) with nano-fillers dispersed in polymer matrix have been proposed as alternative pervaporation membrane materials. They possess both promising selectivity benefiting from the fillers and economical processing capabilities of polymers. ZIF-67 was synthesized and incorporated into the sulfonated poly (aryl ether sulfone) (SPES) matrix to prepare SPES/ZIF-67 mixed matrix membranes with different ZIF-67 mass fractions. The as-prepared membranes were used for pervaporation separation of methanol/methyl tert-butyl ether mixtures. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and laser particle size analysis results show that ZIF-67 is successfully synthesized, and the particle size is mainly between 280 nm and 400 nm. The membranes were characterized by SEM, atomic force microscope (AFM), water contact angle, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), mechanical property testing and positron annihilation technique (PAT), sorption and swelling experiments, and the pervaporation performance was also investigated. The results reveal that ZIF-67 particles disperse uniformly in the SPES matrix. The roughness and hydrophilicity are enhanced by ZIF-67 exposed on the membrane surface. The mixed matrix membrane has good thermal stability and mechanical properties, which can meet the requirements of pervaporation operation. The introduction of ZIF-67 effectively regulates the free volume parameters of the mixed matrix membrane. With increasing ZIF-67 mass fraction, the cavity radius and free volume fraction increase gradually. When the operating temperature is 40 °C, the flow rate is 50 L·h−1 and the mass fraction of methanol in feed is 15%, the mixed matrix membrane with ZIF-67 mass fraction of 20% shows the best comprehensive pervaporation performance. The total flux and separation factor reach 0.297 kg·m−2·h−1 and 2123, respectively. Full article
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18 pages, 5174 KiB  
Article
Use of Nucleating Agent NA11 in the Preparation of Polyvinylidene Fluoride Dual-Layer Hollow Fiber Membranes
by Jihyeon Kim, Jinwon Lee, Lindsey B. Bezek, Bumjin Park and Kwan-Soo Lee
Membranes 2023, 13(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13010075 - 07 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) dual-layer hollow fiber membranes were simultaneously fabricated by thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) and non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) methods using a triple orifice spinneret (TOS) for water treatment application. The support layer was prepared from a TIPS dope solution, [...] Read more.
Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) dual-layer hollow fiber membranes were simultaneously fabricated by thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) and non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) methods using a triple orifice spinneret (TOS) for water treatment application. The support layer was prepared from a TIPS dope solution, which was composed of PVDF, gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). The coating layer was prepared from a NIPS dope solution, which was composed of PVDF, N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc), and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). In order to improve the mechanical strength of the dual-layer hollow fiber, a nucleating agent, sodium 2,2′-methylene bis-(4,6-di-tert-butylphenyl) phosphate (NA11), was added to the TIPS dope solution. The performance of the membrane was evaluated by surface and cross-sectional morphology, water flux, mechanical strength, and thermal property. Our results demonstrate that NA11 improved the mechanical strength of the PVDF dual-layer hollow fiber membranes by up to 42%. In addition, the thickness of the coating layer affected the porosity of the membrane and mechanical performance to have high durability in enduring harsh processing conditions. Full article
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9 pages, 2711 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Degradation of EUV Transmittance of an EUV Pellicle Membrane
by Seong Ju Wi, Yong Ju Jang, Dong Gi Lee, Seon Yong Kim and Jinho Ahn
Membranes 2023, 13(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13010005 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2657
Abstract
The extreme ultraviolet (EUV) pellicle is a freestanding membrane that protects EUV masks from particle contamination during EUV exposure. Although a high EUV transmittance of the pellicle is required to minimize the loss of throughput, the degradation of EUV transmittance during the extended [...] Read more.
The extreme ultraviolet (EUV) pellicle is a freestanding membrane that protects EUV masks from particle contamination during EUV exposure. Although a high EUV transmittance of the pellicle is required to minimize the loss of throughput, the degradation of EUV transmittance during the extended exposure of the pellicle has been recently reported. This may adversely affect the throughput of the lithography process. However, the cause of this phenomenon has not yet been clarified. Therefore, we investigated the cause of the degradation in the EUV transmittance by observing the compositional change when the Ru/SiNx pellicle composite was heated in an emulated EUV scanner environment. The Ru thin film that was deposited at high pressure had more void networks but was not oxidized, whereas the SiNx thin film was oxidized after heating. This was because the void network in the Ru thin film served as a preferential diffusion path for oxygen and caused oxidation of the SiNx thin film. It was confirmed that the degradation of the EUV transmittance was due to the oxidation of SiNx. The results verified the effect of diffusivity in the thin film due to the void network on oxidation and EUV transmittance. Full article
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12 pages, 2466 KiB  
Article
Light Response and Switching Behavior of Graphene Oxide Membranes Modified with Azobenzene Compounds
by Ilia Sadilov, Dmitrii Petukhov, Victor Brotsman, Alexandra Chumakova, Artem Eliseev and Andrei Eliseev
Membranes 2022, 12(11), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12111131 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Here, we report on the fabrication of light-switchable and light-responsive membranes based on graphene oxide (GO) modified with azobenzene compounds. Azobenzene and para-aminoazobenzene were grafted onto graphene oxide layers by covalent attachment/condensation reaction prior to the membranes’ assembly. The modification of GO [...] Read more.
Here, we report on the fabrication of light-switchable and light-responsive membranes based on graphene oxide (GO) modified with azobenzene compounds. Azobenzene and para-aminoazobenzene were grafted onto graphene oxide layers by covalent attachment/condensation reaction prior to the membranes’ assembly. The modification of GO was proven by the UV-vis, IR, Raman and photoelectron spectroscopy. The membrane’s light-responsive properties were investigated in relation to the permeation of permanent gases and water vapors under UV and IR irradiation. Light irradiation does not influence the permeance of permanent gases, while it strongly affected that of water vapors. Both switching and irradiation-induced water permeance variation is described, and they were attributed to over 20% of the initial permeance. According to in situ diffraction studies, the effect is ascribed to the change to the interlayer distance between the graphene oxide nanoflakes, which increases under UV irradiation to ~1.5 nm while it decreases under IR irradiation to ~0.9 nm at 100% RH. The last part occurs due to the isomerization of grafted azobenzene under UV irradiation, pushing apart the GO layers, as confirmed by semi-empirical modelling. Full article
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20 pages, 2649 KiB  
Article
Thermally Rearranged Mixed Matrix Membranes from Copoly(o-hydroxyamide)s and Copoly(o-hydroxyamide-amide)s with a Porous Polymer Network as a Filler—A Comparison of Their Gas Separation Performances
by Cenit Soto, Bibiana Comesaña-Gandara, Ángel Marcos, Purificación Cuadrado, Laura Palacio, Ángel E. Lozano, Cristina Álvarez, Pedro Prádanos and Antonio Hernandez
Membranes 2022, 12(10), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12100998 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1708
Abstract
Copoly(o-hydroxyamide)s (HPA) and copoly(o-hydroxyamide-amide)s (PAA) have been synthesized to be used as continuous phases in mixed matrix membranes (MMMs). These polymeric matrices were blended with different loads (15 and 30 wt.%) of a relatively highly microporous porous polymer network (PPN). SEM images of [...] Read more.
Copoly(o-hydroxyamide)s (HPA) and copoly(o-hydroxyamide-amide)s (PAA) have been synthesized to be used as continuous phases in mixed matrix membranes (MMMs). These polymeric matrices were blended with different loads (15 and 30 wt.%) of a relatively highly microporous porous polymer network (PPN). SEM images of the manufactured MMMs exhibited good compatibility between the two phases for all the membranes studied, and their mechanical properties have been shown to be good enough even after thermal treatment. The WAX results show that the addition of PPN as a filler up to 30% does not substantially change the intersegmental distance and the polymer packing. It seems that, for all the membranes studied, the free volume that determines gas transport is in the high end of the possible range. This means that gas flow occurs mainly between the microvoids in the polymer matrix around the filler. In general, both HPA- and PAA-based MMMs exhibited a notable improvement in gas permeability, due to the presence of PPN, for all gases tested, with an almost constant selectivity. In summary, although the thermal stability of the PAA is limited by the thermal stability of the polyamide side chain, their mechanical properties were better. The permeability was higher for the PAA membranes before their thermal rearrangement, and these values increased after the addition of moderate amounts of PPN. Full article
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Review

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46 pages, 11246 KiB  
Review
Research Progress with Membrane Shielding Materials for Electromagnetic/Radiation Contamination
by Hengtong Zhang and Shudong Lin
Membranes 2023, 13(3), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13030315 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2240
Abstract
As technology develops at a rapid pace, electromagnetic and radiation pollution have become significant issues. These forms of pollution can cause many important environmental issues. If they are not properly managed and addressed, they will be everywhere in the global biosphere, and they [...] Read more.
As technology develops at a rapid pace, electromagnetic and radiation pollution have become significant issues. These forms of pollution can cause many important environmental issues. If they are not properly managed and addressed, they will be everywhere in the global biosphere, and they will have devastating impacts on human health. In addition to minimizing sources of electromagnetic radiation, the development of lightweight composite shielding materials to address interference from radiation has become an important area of research. A suitable shielding material can effectively reduce the harm caused by electromagnetic interference/radiation. However, membrane shielding materials with general functions cannot effectively exert their shielding performance in all fields, and membrane shielding materials used in different fields must have specific functions under their use conditions. The aim of this review was to provide a comprehensive review of these issues. Firstly, the causes of electromagnetic/radiation pollution were briefly introduced and comprehensively identified and analyzed. Secondly, the strategic solutions offered by membrane shielding materials to address electromagnetic/radiation problems were discussed. Then, the design concept, technical innovation, and related mechanisms of the existing membrane shielding materials were expounded, the treatment methods adopted by scholars to study the environment and performance change laws were introduced, and the main difficulties encountered in this area of research were summarized. Finally, on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the protection provided by membrane shielding materials against electromagnetic/radiation pollution, the action mechanism of membrane shielding materials was expounded in detail, and the research progress, structural design and performance characterization techniques for these materials were summarized. In addition, the future challenges were prospected. This review will help universities, research institutes, as well as scientific and technological enterprises engaged in related fields to fully understand the design concept and research progress of electromagnetic/radiation-contaminated membrane shielding materials. In addition, it is hoped that this review will facilitate efforts to accelerate the research and development of membrane shielding materials and offer potential applications in areas such as electronics, nuclear medicine, agriculture, and other areas of industry. Full article
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