Environmentally Friendly Approaches for Fabrication of Filtration Membranes

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2022) | Viewed by 17487

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
A.V.Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis RAS (TIPS RAS), Leninsky pr., 29, Moscow, Russia
Interests: polymeric membranes; micro-, ultrafiltration; water-oil emulsions; water treatment; fouling; organic solvent nanofiltration; chemical resistance; synthetic and bio-polymers; nanocellulose; preparation polymeric membranes; hollow fiber; 3D printing; Palladium (Pd); trichloroethylene; hydrodechlorination; membrane contactor; catalytic reactor
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Guest Editor
Institute on Membrane Technology, National esearch Council, ITM-CNR, via P. Bucci, 17/C, 87036 Rende, Cosenza, Italy
Interests: polymeric membranes; hollow-fibers; membrane preparation; bio-polymeric membranes; membrane characterization; pervaporation; antifouling coatings; self-cleaning membranes; ultra-micro filtration; sustainable membrane preparation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Membrane separation has become one of the fastest growing technologies over the past few decades. Along with the improvement of membrane properties for various separation tasks in connection with the tightening of requirements for environmental protection in recent years, the creation of environmentally friendly approaches for the production of polymer membranes has become key. The absence of solvents, partial or complete replacement of highly toxic solvents with non-toxic ones, and the use of biopolymers as membrane materials or modifiers can reduce the negative impact on the environment. Those listed and further novel approaches may have great potential to compete with traditional processes. Special emphasis will be placed on but not limited to the following:

  • Biopolymers as membrane materials;
  • New biodegradable membrane materials;
  • Green or more sustainable solvents for membrane preparation;
  • Biopolymers as membrane modifiers to improve transport, release properties and increase resistance to fouling;
  • Environmentally friendly membrane processes for separation aqueous and non-aqueous media;
  • A combination of traditional and new membrane technologies to reduce the negative impact on the environment.

Dr. Tatyana Anokhina
Dr. Francesco Galiano
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • microfiltration
  • ultrafiltration
  • nanofiltration
  • pervaporation
  • biopolymers
  • composite membranes
  • green solvents
  • sustainable materials
  • polyelectrolytes
  • water treatment
  • water–oil emulsions
  • fouling
  • modifiers.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 6058 KiB  
Article
ECTFE Membrane Fabrication Using Green Binary Diluents TEGDA/TOTM and Its Performance in Membrane Condenser
by Songhong Yu, Yu Huang, Lixun Zhang, Qian Wang, Zhaohui Wang, Zhaoliang Cui and Enrico Drioli
Membranes 2022, 12(8), 757; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12080757 - 31 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1754
Abstract
Poly(ethylene-chlorotrifluoroethylene) (ECTFE) membrane is a hydrophobic membrane material that can be used to recover water from high-humidity gases in the membrane condenser (MC) process. In this study, ECTFE membranes were prepared by the thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) method using the green binary [...] Read more.
Poly(ethylene-chlorotrifluoroethylene) (ECTFE) membrane is a hydrophobic membrane material that can be used to recover water from high-humidity gases in the membrane condenser (MC) process. In this study, ECTFE membranes were prepared by the thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) method using the green binary diluents triglyceride diacetate (TEGDA) and trioctyl trimellitate (TOTM). Thermodynamic phase diagrams of the ECTFE/TEGDA: TOTM system were made. The effects of the diluent composition and cooling rate on the structure and properties of the ECTFE membranes were investigated by characterizing the SEM, contact angle, mechanical properties, pore size and porosity. The results showed that ECTFE membranes with cellular structure were successfully prepared and exhibit good mechanical properties. Moreover, increasing the TOTM content in the binary diluents and decreasing the cooling rate could effectively improve the mean pore size of the ECTFE membranes, but the increase in TOTM content reduced the mechanical properties. During the MC process, the water recovery performance of ECTFE membranes increased with the increase in the mean pore size of the membranes, and the condensation flow and water recovery of membrane prepared at 20% TOTM were 1.71 kg·m−2·h−1 and 54.84%, respectively, which were better than the performance of commercial hydrophobic PVDF membranes in the MC. These results indicated that there is good potential for the application of ECTFE membranes during the MC process. Full article
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15 pages, 3802 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Polyacrylonitrile UF Membranes by VIPS Method with Acetone as Co-Solvent
by Alexey Yushkin, Alexey Balynin, Mikhail Efimov, Konstantin Pochivalov, Inna Petrova and Alexey Volkov
Membranes 2022, 12(5), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12050523 - 15 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2520
Abstract
For the first time, a systematic study was carried out of the replacement of the low-volatility solvents N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) or dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) with the high-volatility solvent acetone in the casting solution of polyacrylonitrile (PAN). The effect of acetone’s presence in the casting solution [...] Read more.
For the first time, a systematic study was carried out of the replacement of the low-volatility solvents N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) or dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) with the high-volatility solvent acetone in the casting solution of polyacrylonitrile (PAN). The effect of acetone’s presence in the casting solution on the performance of ultrafiltration membranes fabricated via vapor-induced phase separation (VIPS) was investigated. It was possible to replace 40% of NMP and 50% of DMSO with acetone, which resulted in the reduction of the casting solution viscosity from 70.6 down to 41.3 Pa∙s (20% PAN, NMP), and from 68.3 down to 20.6 Pa∙s (20% PAN, DMSO). It was found that 20 min of exposure to water vapor (relative humidity—85%) was sufficient to govern the phase separation, which was mainly induced by the water vapor. Regardless of the casting solution composition (15 or 20% PAN; DMSO or NMP), all membranes formed via VIPS possessed a sponge-like porous structure. The addition of acetone to the casting solution allowed the reduction of the transport pore size from 35–48 down to 8.5–25.6, depending on the casting solution composition. By varying the acetone content at constant polymer concentration, it was possible to decrease the molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) from 69 to 10 kg/mol. Membranes prepared from 20% PAN solution in an acetone/DMSO mixture had the lowest MWCO of 10 kg/mol with a water permeance of 5.1 L/(m2·h·bar). Full article
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13 pages, 19966 KiB  
Article
Structure, Morphology, and Permeability of Cellulose Films
by Igor S. Makarov, Lyudmila K. Golova, Galina N. Bondarenko, Tatyana S. Anokhina, Evgenia S. Dmitrieva, Ivan S. Levin, Valentina E. Makhatova, Nazym Zh. Galimova and Gulbarshin K. Shambilova
Membranes 2022, 12(3), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12030297 - 04 Mar 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3573
Abstract
The work is focused on the study of the influence of the cellulose type and processing parameters on the structure, morphology, and permeability of cellulose films. The free volume of the cellulose films was evaluated by the sorption of n-decane, which is a [...] Read more.
The work is focused on the study of the influence of the cellulose type and processing parameters on the structure, morphology, and permeability of cellulose films. The free volume of the cellulose films was evaluated by the sorption of n-decane, which is a non-solvent for cellulose. The structural features of the membranes and their morphology were studied using X-ray diffraction, IR spectroscopy, SEM, and AFM methods. The characteristic features of the porous structure and properties of cellulose films regenerated from cellulose solutions in the N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO) and cellophane films were compared. Generally, cellulose films obtained from solutions in NMMO have a higher permeability and a lower rejection (as measured using Orange II dye) as compared to cellophane films. It was also found that the cellulose films have a higher ultimate strength and modulus, whereas the cellophane films are characterized by higher elongation at break. Full article
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17 pages, 3046 KiB  
Article
Recovery of Model Pharmaceutical Compounds from Water and Organic Solutions with Alginate-Based Composite Membranes
by Tatyana Anokhina, Evgenia Dmitrieva and Alexey Volkov
Membranes 2022, 12(2), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12020235 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1919
Abstract
In this work, we combined the non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) and further cross-linking by cations towards the preparation of nanofiltration membranes based on sodium alginate, a biodegradable, natural polymer. Acetone, ethanol, toluene, and hexane were used as non-solvents, and cations of calcium, [...] Read more.
In this work, we combined the non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) and further cross-linking by cations towards the preparation of nanofiltration membranes based on sodium alginate, a biodegradable, natural polymer. Acetone, ethanol, toluene, and hexane were used as non-solvents, and cations of calcium, silver, and aluminum—for polymer cross-linking, respectively. Results showed the precipitation strength of non-solvent played a noticeable role in the membrane’s performance; for instance, the toluene permeability changed by four orders of magnitude with the decrease of precipitation strength of the non-solvent: acetone (Ptoluene = 0.1 kg∙m−2∙h−1∙bar−1) < ethanol (3 kg∙m−2∙h−1∙bar−1) < hexane (41 kg∙m−2∙h−1∙bar−1) < toluene (415 kg∙m−2∙h−1∙bar−1). It was shown that simultaneous precipitation and crosslinking in aqueous solutions AlCl3 or AgNO3 must be used in the preparation of alginate membranes for the highly selective recovery of pharmaceutical compounds from organic media. These membranes show rejection R = 90–93% of substances with MW = 626 g/mol and ethanol permeability PEtOH = 1.5–2.5 kg∙m−2∙h−1∙bar−1. For the highly selective recovery of pharmaceutical compounds from water, the method of obtaining membranes must be changed. Precipitation in toluene and then crosslinking in aqueous solutions of AlCl3 or AgNO3 must be used sequentially instead of simultaneous precipitation and crosslinking in aqueous solutions of the same inorganic salts. The permeability of such membranes varied from 0.44 to 7.8 kg∙m−2∙h−1∙bar−1 depending on the crosslinking cation in the alginate. The rejection of model substances with MW 350 and 626 g/mol were on the level of 99%. Alginate membranes can be used to solve separation problems in the pharmaceutical field, for example, to isolate antibiotics from their extractants and remove the same antibiotics from aqueous pharmaceutical waste to prevent their accumulation in the environment and the emergence of resistant genes and bacteria. Full article
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11 pages, 7656 KiB  
Article
Ti-40Al-10Nb-10Cr Porous Microfiltration Membrane with Hierarchical Pore Structure for Particulate Matter Capturing from High-Temperature Flue Gas
by Wanyuan Gui, Zhenjing Shi, Yin Zhang, Yongfeng Liang, Jingyan Qin, Yanli Wang, Junpin Lin and Benli Luan
Membranes 2022, 12(2), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12020104 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1273
Abstract
TiAl-based porous microfiltration membranes are expected to be the next-generation filtration materials for potential applications in high-temperature flue gas separation in corrosive environments. Unfortunately, the insufficient high-temperature oxidation resistance severely limits their industrial applications. To tackle this issue, a Ti-40Al-10Nb-10Cr porous alloy was [...] Read more.
TiAl-based porous microfiltration membranes are expected to be the next-generation filtration materials for potential applications in high-temperature flue gas separation in corrosive environments. Unfortunately, the insufficient high-temperature oxidation resistance severely limits their industrial applications. To tackle this issue, a Ti-40Al-10Nb-10Cr porous alloy was fabricated for highly effective high-temperature flue gas purification. Benefited from microstructural changes and the formation of two new phases, the Ti-40Al-10Nb-10Cr porous alloy demonstrated favorable high-temperature anti-oxidation performance with the incorporation of Nb and Cr high-temperature alloying elements. By the separation of a simulated high-temperature flue gas, we achieved an ultra-high PM-removal efficiency (62.242% for PM<2.5 and 98.563% for PM>2.5). These features, combined with our experimental design strategy, provide a new insight into designing high-temperature TiAl-based porous materials with enhanced performance and durability. Full article
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16 pages, 5890 KiB  
Article
Cellulose Acetate Membranes Modification by Aminosilane Grafting in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide towards Antibiofilm Properties
by Marcin Tyrka, Mariusz Nowak, Dusan Misic, Tomasz Półbrat, Stanisław Koter, Anna Trusek and Irena Zizovic
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010033 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
The study explores the grafting of cellulose acetate microfiltration membranes with an aminosilane to attain antibiofilm properties. The grafting reaction was performed in the supercritical carbon dioxide used as a transport and reaction medium. The FTIR analyses and dissolution tests confirmed the covalent [...] Read more.
The study explores the grafting of cellulose acetate microfiltration membranes with an aminosilane to attain antibiofilm properties. The grafting reaction was performed in the supercritical carbon dioxide used as a transport and reaction medium. The FTIR analyses and dissolution tests confirmed the covalent bonding between the aminosilane and polymer. The membranes’ microstructure was investigated using a dual-beam SEM and ion microscopy, and no adverse effects of the processing were found. The modified membranes showed a more hydrophilic nature and larger water permeate flow rate than the neat cellulose acetate membranes. The tests in a cross-filtration unit showed that modified membranes were considerably less blocked after a week of exposure to Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli than the original ones. Microbiological investigations revealed strong antibiofilm properties of the grafted membranes in experiments with Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella Enteritidis. Full article
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12 pages, 2670 KiB  
Article
Solvent-Resistant UV-Cured Polysulfone Support Membranes Using a Green Solvent
by Angela Dedvukaj, Peter Van den Mooter and Ivo F. J. Vankelecom
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010001 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2753
Abstract
Solvent-resistant UV-cured supports consisting of a semi-interpenetrating network of polysulfone (PSf) and cross-linked poly-acrylate were successfully synthesized for the first time using an alternative, non-reprotoxic, and biodegradable solvent. Tamisolve® NxG is a high-boiling, dipolar aprotic solvent with solubility parameters similar to those [...] Read more.
Solvent-resistant UV-cured supports consisting of a semi-interpenetrating network of polysulfone (PSf) and cross-linked poly-acrylate were successfully synthesized for the first time using an alternative, non-reprotoxic, and biodegradable solvent. Tamisolve® NxG is a high-boiling, dipolar aprotic solvent with solubility parameters similar to those of dimethylformamide (DMF) and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), making it an eco-friendly alternative. The support membranes, prepared via UV-curing followed by non-solvent-induced phase inversion, can serve as a universal solvent-resistant support for the synthesis of a broad set of membranes, for which the selective layer can be deposited from any solvent. Parameters such as UV irradiation time and intensity, as well as the concentrations of PSf, penta-acrylate, and photo-initiator in the casting solution were varied to obtain such supports. The characteristics of the resulting supports were investigated in terms of separation performance, hydrophobicity, porosity, degree of acrylate conversion, and pure water flux. The resulting membranes showed improved chemical resistance in solvents such as ethyl acetate, NMP, tetrahydrofuran (THF), and toluene. Solvent-resistant supports with different pore sizes were synthesized and used for the preparation of thin film composite (TFC) membranes to demonstrate their potential. Promising separation performances with Rose Bengal (RB) rejections up to 98% and water permeances up to 1.5 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 were reached with these TFC-membranes carrying a polyamide top layer synthesized via interfacial polymerization. Full article
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