Membranes in Our Life: An Honorary Special Issue Dedicated to Prof. Enrico Drioli on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2022) | Viewed by 18903

Special Issue Editors


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Institute on Membrane Technology, National Research Council of Italy, ITM-CNR, Via P. Bucci Cubo 17c, I-87036 Rende, CS, Italy
Interests: membranes and membrane bioreactors applied to health and life sciences; bioartificial organs and engineered tissues; cell-membrane interactions; membranes-in vitro models for drug testing, drug delivery and disease investigations; regenerative medicine; biohybrid membrane systems; membrane bio-functionalization; membranes in bioseparation processes
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Guest Editor
Institute on Membrane Technology (ITM-CNR), 87036 Rende, Italy
Interests: membrane processes for desalination and wastewater treatment; membrane contactors; membrane distillation; membrane crystallization; membrane condenser; membrane-transport phenomena
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Guest Editor
Electrochemistry of Materials Group and International Associated Laboratory: Ionomer Materials for Energy, Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Madirel (UMR 7246), Campus St Jérôme, 13013 Marseille, France
Interests: solid state ionics; electrochemical energy technologies; ion-conducting polymers; ionomer membranes; nanostructured materials
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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Calabria (DIAm-UNICAL), Via P. Bucci CUBO 44/A, 87036 Rende, Italy
Interests: ion exhcange membranes; reverse electrodialysis; water electrolysis; hydrogen production; CO2 reduction
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce an honorary Special Issue of Membranes dedicated to Prof. Enrico Drioli, on the occasion of his 80th birthday in April 2021, as an acknowledgment of his contributions to the development of membrane science and technology. 

Prof. E. Drioli is the Emeritus Professor at the School of Engineering of the University of Calabria and Senior Research Associate at CNR-ITM (Italy); Honorary President of the European Membrane Society (1999); Founding Director of CNR-ITM. Since 2018, he is serving as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Nanjing Tech University, College of Chemical Engineering. Since 2018 Guest Professor of School of Marine Science and Technology of Harbin Institute of Technology, Weihai, P.R.China. Since 2012 Distinguished Adjunct Professor, CEDT King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah Saudi Arabia; 2010-2020 WCU Distinguished Visiting Professor, at the Hanyang University, Seoul Korea. Currently Chairman of the Section on "Membrane Engineering" of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering and Coordinator of EU-EUDIME Doctorate School on Membrane Engineering. He has been involved with many international societies, scientific committees, Editorial Boards, and International Advisory Boards, the coordinator of several international research projects. He also received various awards and honors, e.g., “Richard Maling Barrer Prize” of the EMS, “Academician Semenov Medal” of Russian Academy of Engineering Science, “MIAC International Award” for his contributions in the field of membrane science and technologies.

He is the author of more than 930 scientific papers, covering various topics in membrane science and engineering, membrane preparation and transport phenomena, integrated membrane processes, membrane distillation, and membrane contactors, membranes in artificial organs, catalytic membrane, and catalytic membrane reactors.

His contributions span more than 50 years of leadership in key areas for the development of membrane science and technology. During this time, he has added new insights that are still motivating and stimulating research around the world. A network of colleagues, students, friends, and admirers appreciate his pioneeristic vision and crucial contributions to the development of our field of membranes and his special characteristic to look beyond existing scientific boundaries to enable membranes to positively impact the world through better fundamental understanding. 

Research articles and review papers on membrane and membrane science and technology are welcomed.

Dr. Simona Salerno
Prof. Dr. Francesca Macedonio
Prof. Dr. Philippe Knauth
Dr. Ramato Ashu Tufa
Guest Editors

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

  • Membrane Science and Technology
  • Integrated Membrane Processes
  • Membranes Preparation and Characterization
  • Transport Phenomena
  • Membrane Contactors
  • Membrane Distillation
  • Membrane Crystallizers
  • Catalytic Membranes and Catalytic Membrane Reactors
  • Membrane Bioreactors
  • Membranes for Electrolyzers
  • Membranes for Fuel Cells
  • Membranes for Redox Flow Batteries

 

Published Papers (6 papers)

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14 pages, 27797 KiB  
Article
Preparation of ECTFE Porous Membrane for Dehumidification of Gaseous Streams through Membrane Condenser
by Jun Pan, Kun Chen, Zhaoliang Cui, Omar Bamaga, Mohammed Albeirutty, Abdulmohsen Omar Alsaiari, Francesca Macedonio and Enrico Drioli
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010065 - 01 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1995
Abstract
Due to the good hydrophobicity and chemical resistance of poly(ethylene trifluoroethylene) (ECTFE), it has been an attractive potential material for microfiltration, membrane distillation and more. However, few porous hydrophobic ECTFE membranes were prepared by thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) for membrane condenser applications. [...] Read more.
Due to the good hydrophobicity and chemical resistance of poly(ethylene trifluoroethylene) (ECTFE), it has been an attractive potential material for microfiltration, membrane distillation and more. However, few porous hydrophobic ECTFE membranes were prepared by thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) for membrane condenser applications. In this work, the diluent, di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP), was selected to prepare the dope solutions. The calculated Hassen solubility parameter indicated that ECTFE has good compatibility with DnOP. The corresponding thermodynamic phase diagram was established, and it has been mutually verified with the bi-continuous structure observed in the SEM images. At 30 wt% ECTFE, the surface contact angle and liquid entry pressure reach their maximum values of 139.5° and 0.71 MPa, respectively. In addition, some other basic membrane properties, such as pore size, porosity, and mechanical properties, were determined. Finally, the prepared ECTFE membranes were tested using a homemade membrane condenser setup. When the polymer content is 30 wt%, the corresponding results are better; the water recovery and condensed water yield is 17.6% and 1.86 kg m−2 h−1, respectively. Full article
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16 pages, 4858 KiB  
Article
Green H2 Production by Water Electrolysis Using Cation Exchange Membrane: Insights on Activation and Ohmic Polarization Phenomena
by Elisa Esposito, Angelo Minotti, Enrica Fontananova, Mariagiulia Longo, Johannes Carolus Jansen and Alberto Figoli
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010015 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4434
Abstract
Low-temperature electrolysis by using polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) can play an important role in hydrogen energy transition. This work presents a study on the performance of a proton exchange membrane in the water electrolysis process at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. In the [...] Read more.
Low-temperature electrolysis by using polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) can play an important role in hydrogen energy transition. This work presents a study on the performance of a proton exchange membrane in the water electrolysis process at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. In the perspective of applications that need a device with small volume and low weight, a miniaturized electrolysis cell with a 36 cm2 active area of PEM over a total surface area of 76 cm2 of the device was used. H2 and O2 production rates, electrical power, energy efficiency, Faradaic efficiency and polarization curves were determined for all experiments. The effects of different parameters such as clamping pressure and materials of the electrodes on polarization phenomena were studied. The PEM used was a catalyst-coated membrane (Ir-Pt-Nafion™ 117 CCM). The maximum H2 production was about 0.02 g min−1 with a current density of 1.1 A cm−2 and a current power about 280 W. Clamping pressure and the type of electrode materials strongly influence the activation and ohmic polarization phenomena. High clamping pressure and electrodes in titanium compared to carbon electrodes improve the cell performance, and this results in lower ohmic and activation resistances. Full article
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13 pages, 3438 KiB  
Article
Crosslinked Sulfonated Polyphenylsulfone (CSPPSU) Membranes for Elevated-Temperature PEM Water Electrolysis
by Jedeok Kim and Akihiro Ohira
Membranes 2021, 11(11), 861; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11110861 - 08 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2438
Abstract
In order to reduce the burden on the environment, there is a need to develop non-fluorinated electrolyte membranes as alternatives to fluorinated electrolyte membranes, and water electrolysis using hydrocarbon-based electrolyte membranes has been studied in recent years. In this paper, for the first [...] Read more.
In order to reduce the burden on the environment, there is a need to develop non-fluorinated electrolyte membranes as alternatives to fluorinated electrolyte membranes, and water electrolysis using hydrocarbon-based electrolyte membranes has been studied in recent years. In this paper, for the first time, we report elevated-temperature water electrolysis properties of crosslinked sulfonated polyphenylsulfone (CSPPSU) membranes prepared by sulfonation and crosslinking of hydrocarbon-based PPSU engineering plastics. The sulfone groups of the CSPPSU membrane in water were stable at 85 °C (3600 h) and 150 °C (2184 h). In addition, the polymer structure of the CSPPSU membrane was stable during small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements from room temperature to 180 °C. A current density of 456 mA/cm2 was obtained at 150 °C and 1.8 V in water electrolysis using the CSPPSU membrane and IrO2/Ti as the catalytic electrode for oxygen evolution. The stability of the CSPPSU membrane at elevated temperatures with time was evaluated. There were some issues in the assembly of the CSPPSU membrane and the catalytic electrode. However, the CSPPSU membrane has the potential to be used as an electrolyte membrane for elevated-temperature water electrolysis. Full article
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14 pages, 5187 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Performance of Fly Ash-Based Supports for Low-Cost Ceramic Membranes with the Addition of Bauxite
by Wan Fan, Dong Zou, Jingrui Xu, Xianfu Chen, Minghui Qiu and Yiqun Fan
Membranes 2021, 11(9), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11090711 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2412
Abstract
Support is a necessary foundation for ceramic membranes to achieve high performance. Finding the optimum balance between high performance and low cost is still a significant challenge in the fabrication of ceramic supports. In this study, low-cost fly ash-based ceramic supports with enhanced [...] Read more.
Support is a necessary foundation for ceramic membranes to achieve high performance. Finding the optimum balance between high performance and low cost is still a significant challenge in the fabrication of ceramic supports. In this study, low-cost fly ash-based ceramic supports with enhanced performance were prepared by the addition of bauxite. The pore structure, mechanical strength, and shrinkage of fly ash/bauxite supports could be tuned by optimizing the bauxite content and sintering temperature. When the sintering temperature and bauxite content were controlled at 1300 °C and 40 wt%, respectively, the obtained membrane supports exhibited a high pure water permeance of approximately 5.36 m3·m−2·h−1·bar−1 and a high bending strength of approximately 69.6 MPa. At the same time, the optimized ceramic supports presented a typical mullite phase and excellent resistance to acid and alkali. This work provides a potential route for the preparation of ceramic membrane supports with characteristics of low cost and high performance. Full article
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16 pages, 7560 KiB  
Article
Performance of PVDF Based Membranes with 2D Materials for Membrane Assisted-Crystallization Process
by Mirko Frappa, Francesca Macedonio, Annarosa Gugliuzza, Wanqin Jin and Enrico Drioli
Membranes 2021, 11(5), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11050302 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2556
Abstract
Membrane crystallization (MCr) is a promising and innovative process for the recovery of freshwater from seawater and for the production of salt crystals from the brine streams of desalination plants. In the present work, composite polymeric membranes for membrane crystallization were fabricated using [...] Read more.
Membrane crystallization (MCr) is a promising and innovative process for the recovery of freshwater from seawater and for the production of salt crystals from the brine streams of desalination plants. In the present work, composite polymeric membranes for membrane crystallization were fabricated using graphene and bismuth telluride inks prepared according to the wet-jet milling (WJM) technology. A comparison between PVDF-based membranes containing a few layers of graphene or bismuth telluride and PVDF-pristine membranes was carried out. Among the 2D composite membranes, PVDF with bismuth telluride at higher concentration (7%) exhibited the highest flux (about 3.9 L∙m−2h−1, in MCr experiments performed with 5 M NaCl solution as feed, and at a temperature of 34 ± 0.2 °C at the feed side and 11 ± 0.2 °C at the permeate side). The confinement of graphene and bismuth telluride in PVDF membranes produced more uniform NaCl crystals with respect to the pristine PVDF membrane, especially in the case of few-layer graphene. All the membranes showed rejection equal to or higher than 99.9% (up to 99.99% in the case of the membrane with graphene). The high rejection together with the good trans-membrane flux confirmed the interesting performance of the process, without any wetting phenomena, at least during the performed crystallization tests. Full article
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17 pages, 1726 KiB  
Review
A Short Overview of Biological Fuel Cells
by Ivan Vito Ferrari, Luca Pasquini, Riccardo Narducci, Emanuela Sgreccia, Maria Luisa Di Vona and Philippe Knauth
Membranes 2022, 12(4), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12040427 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3156
Abstract
This short review summarizes the improvements on biological fuel cells (BioFCs) with or without ionomer separation membrane. After a general introduction about the main challenges of modern energy management, BioFCs are presented including microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and enzymatic fuel cells (EFCs). The [...] Read more.
This short review summarizes the improvements on biological fuel cells (BioFCs) with or without ionomer separation membrane. After a general introduction about the main challenges of modern energy management, BioFCs are presented including microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and enzymatic fuel cells (EFCs). The benefits of BioFCs include the capability to derive energy from waste-water and organic matter, the possibility to use bacteria or enzymes to replace expensive catalysts such as platinum, the high selectivity of the electrode reactions that allow working with less complicated systems, without the need for high purification, and the lower environmental impact. In comparison with classical FCs and given their lower electrochemical performances, BioFCs have, up to now, only found niche applications with low power needs, but they could become a green solution in the perspective of sustainable development and the circular economy. Ion exchange membranes for utilization in BioFCs are discussed in the final section of the review: they include perfluorinated proton exchange membranes but also aromatic polymers grafted with proton or anion exchange groups. Full article
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