Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2022) | Viewed by 35333

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School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637459, Singapore
Interests: fluidization; multiphase flow; membrane-based separation; particle technology
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UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: water and wastewater treatments by membrane processes; membrane fouling by biopolymeric materials; application of detailed characterization of macromolecular and particulate foulants
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Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
Interests: membrane technology; desalination; wastewater reclamation; water chemistry; environmental materials
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Guest Editor
HTW Berlin, Department of Engineering II, School of Life Science Engineering, Wilhelminenhofstr. 75A, 12459 Berlin, Germany
Interests: membrane bioreactors; fouling; emulsion separation; organic solvent nanofiltration; enzyme processes; bioprocesses; wastewater treatment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is in honor of Professor Anthony (Tony) Fane, who does not need any introduction within the membrane community. His more than 500 peer-reviewed journal papers have garnered more than 50,000 citations and a h-index of 122, a testament to his dedication to the field of membrane science and technology through the decades. He has also pioneered two highly successful, world-renowned membrane research centers, namely, the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology in Australia and the Singapore Membrane Technology Center.

Many of us have been very fortunate to collaborate with, receive mentorship from and befriend Professor Fane, witnessing his insatiable passion for membrane research. Despite his extraordinary achievements and international recognition, he is remarkably unassuming, humble and down-to-earth.

In honor and recognition of Prof. Anthony (Tony) Fane’s life-long scientific and educational contributions to the field of membranes, this Special Issue of Membranes welcomes the submission of original research manuscripts or reviews on all aspects of membranes. The deadline for submission is 15 December 2021. Manuscripts will be published online on an ongoing basis after due processing.

Dr. Jia Wei Chew
Dr. Pierre LeClech
Prof. Dr. Chuyang Tang
Prof. Dr. Anja Drews
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.

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 4227 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Energy Efficiency between Atmospheric Batch Pressure-Retarded Osmosis and Single-Stage Pressure-Retarded Osmosis
by Dan Li, Zijing Mo and Qianhong She
Membranes 2023, 13(3), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13030354 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1083
Abstract
Batch pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) with varied-pressure and multiple-cycle operation using a pressurized variable-volume tank has been proposed as a high-efficiency osmotic energy harvesting technology, but it suffers scalability constraints. In this study, a more scalable batch PRO, namely, atmospheric batch PRO (AB-PRO), was [...] Read more.
Batch pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) with varied-pressure and multiple-cycle operation using a pressurized variable-volume tank has been proposed as a high-efficiency osmotic energy harvesting technology, but it suffers scalability constraints. In this study, a more scalable batch PRO, namely, atmospheric batch PRO (AB-PRO), was proposed, utilizing an atmospheric tank to receive and store the intermediate diluted draw solution (DS) and a pressure exchanger to recover the pressure energy from the diluted DS before being recycled into the tank. Its performance was further compared with single-stage PRO (SS-PRO) at different flow schemes via analytic models. The results show that the AB-PRO with an infinitesimal per-cycle water recovery (r) approaches the thermodynamic maximum energy production under ideal conditions, outperforming the SS-PRO with lower efficiencies caused by under-pressurization (UP). However, when considering inefficiencies, a ~40% efficiency reduction was observed in AB-PRO owing to UP and entropy generation as the optimal r is no-longer infinitesimal. Nonetheless, AB-PRO is still significantly superior to SS-PRO at low water recoveries (R) and maintains a stable energy efficiency at various R, which is conducive to meeting the fluctuating demand in practice by flexibly adjusting R. Further mitigating pressure losses and deficiencies of energy recovery devices can significantly improve AB-PRO performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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8 pages, 2030 KiB  
Article
Atomistic-Scale Energetic Heterogeneity on a Membrane Surface
by Shiliang (Johnathan) Tan, Chisiang Ong and Jiawei Chew
Membranes 2022, 12(10), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12100977 - 07 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
Knowing the energetic topology of a surface is important, especially with regard to membrane fouling. In this study, molecular computations were carried out to determine the energetic topology of a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane with different surface wettability and three representative probe molecules [...] Read more.
Knowing the energetic topology of a surface is important, especially with regard to membrane fouling. In this study, molecular computations were carried out to determine the energetic topology of a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane with different surface wettability and three representative probe molecules (namely argon, carbon dioxide and water) of different sizes and natures. Among the probe molecules, water has the strongest interaction with the PVDF surface, followed by carbon dioxide and then argon. Argon, which only has van der Waals interactions with PVDF, is a good probing molecule to identify crevices and the molecular profile of a surface. Carbon dioxide, which is the largest probing molecule and does not have dipole moment, exhibits similar van der Waals and electrostatic interactions. As for water, the dominant attractive interactions are electrostatics with fluorine atoms of the intrinsically hydrophobic PVDF membrane, but the electrostatic interactions are much stronger for the hydroxyl and carboxyl groups on the hydrophilic PVDF due to strong dipole moment. PVDF only becomes hydrophilic when the interaction energy is approximately doubled when grafted with hydroxyl and carboxyl groups. The energetic heterogeneity and the effect of different probe molecules revealed here are expected to be valuable in guiding membrane modifications to mitigate fouling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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15 pages, 2854 KiB  
Article
In-Situ Sludge Reduction Performance and Mechanism in Sulfidogenic Anoxic–Oxic–Anoxic Membrane Bioreactors
by Chengyue Li, Tahir Maqbool, Hongyu Kang and Zhenghua Zhang
Membranes 2022, 12(9), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12090865 - 08 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1547
Abstract
The excess sludge generated from the activated sludge process remains a big issue. Sustainable approaches that achieve in situ sludge reduction with satisfactory effluent quality deserve attention. This study explored the sludge reduction performance of sulfidogenic anoxic–oxic–anoxic (AOA) membrane bioreactors. The dynamics of [...] Read more.
The excess sludge generated from the activated sludge process remains a big issue. Sustainable approaches that achieve in situ sludge reduction with satisfactory effluent quality deserve attention. This study explored the sludge reduction performance of sulfidogenic anoxic–oxic–anoxic (AOA) membrane bioreactors. The dynamics of the microbial community and metabolic pathways were further analyzed to elucidate the internal mechanism of sludge reduction. Compared with the conventional anoxic–oxic–oxic membrane bioreactor (MBRcontrol), AOAS150 (150 mg/L SO42− in the membrane tank) and AOAS300 (300 mg/L SO42− in the membrane tank) reduced biomass production by 40.39% and 47.45%, respectively. The sulfide reduced from sulfate could enhance the sludge decay rate and decrease sludge production. Extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) destruction and aerobic lysis contributed to sludge reduction in AOA bioreactors. The relative abundance of Bacteroidetes (phylum), sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB, genus), and Ignavibacterium (genus) increased in AOA bioreactors compared with MBRcontrol. Our metagenomic analysis indicated that the total enzyme-encoding genes involved in glycolysis, denitrification, and sulfate-reduction processes decreased over time in AOAS300 and were lower in AOAS300 than AOAS150 at the final stage of operation. The excess accumulation of sulfide in AOAS300 may inactive the functional bacteria, and sulfide inhibition induced sludge reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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17 pages, 2788 KiB  
Article
In-Situ Sludge Reduction in Membrane-Controlled Anoxic-Oxic-Anoxic Bioreactor: Performance and Mechanism
by Chengyue Li, Tahir Maqbool, Hongyu Kang and Zhenghua Zhang
Membranes 2022, 12(7), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12070659 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
Conventional and advanced biological wastewater treatment systems generate excess sludge, which causes socio-economic and environmental issues. This study investigated the performance of membrane-controlled anoxic-oxic-anoxic (AOA) bioreactors for in-situ sludge reduction compared to the conventional anoxic-oxic-oxic membrane bioreactor (MBRcontrol). The membrane units [...] Read more.
Conventional and advanced biological wastewater treatment systems generate excess sludge, which causes socio-economic and environmental issues. This study investigated the performance of membrane-controlled anoxic-oxic-anoxic (AOA) bioreactors for in-situ sludge reduction compared to the conventional anoxic-oxic-oxic membrane bioreactor (MBRcontrol). The membrane units in the AOA bioreactors were operated as anoxic reactors at lower sludge recirculation rates to achieve hydrolysis of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and extensive endogenous respiration. Compared to MBRcontrol, the AOA bioreactors operated with 90%, and 80% recirculation rates reduced the sludge growth up to 19% and 30%, respectively. Protein-like components were enriched in AOA bioreactors while fulvic-like components were dominant in MBRcontrol. The growth of Dechloromonas and Zoogloea genra was promoted in AOA bioreactors and thus sludge reduction was facilitated. Metagenomics analysis uncovered that AOA bioreactors exhibited higher proportions of key genes encoding enzymes involved in the glycolysis and denitrification processes, which contributed to the utilization of carbon sources and nitrogen consumption and thus sludge reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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14 pages, 2562 KiB  
Article
Determination of Compressibility and Relaxation Behavior of Yeast Cell Sediments by Analytical Centrifugation and Comparison with Deposit Formation on Membrane Surfaces
by Maria E. Weinberger and Ulrich Kulozik
Membranes 2022, 12(6), 603; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12060603 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Separation of cells from produced biomolecules is a challenging task in many biotechnological downstream operations due to deposit formation of the retained cells, affecting permeation of the target product. Compression and relaxation behavior of cell deposits formed during filtration are important factors affecting [...] Read more.
Separation of cells from produced biomolecules is a challenging task in many biotechnological downstream operations due to deposit formation of the retained cells, affecting permeation of the target product. Compression and relaxation behavior of cell deposits formed during filtration are important factors affecting operational performance. The determination of these factors by flux or pressure stepping experiments is time- and labor-intensive. In this work, we propose a screening method by analytical centrifugation, which is capable of detecting small differences in compression and relaxation behavior induced by milieu changes, using a model system comprised of washed and unwashed yeast cells in the presence or absence of bovine serum albumin as a model target protein. The main effects observed were firstly the impact of pH value, affecting interaction of bovine serum albumin and yeast cells especially close to the isoelectric point, and secondly the effect of washing the yeast cells prior to analysis, where the presence of extracellular polymeric substances led to higher compressibility of the deposited cells. By comparing and validating the obtained results with dead-end filtration trials, the stabilizing role of bovine serum albumin in deposits formed at low pH values due to interactions with the yeast cells was underlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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11 pages, 1805 KiB  
Article
A Novel Hybrid Reactor of Pressure-Retarded Osmosis Coupling with Activated Sludge Process for Simultaneously Treating Concentrated Seawater Brine and Wastewater and Recovering Energy
by Jiaxin Ding, Qian Zhou, Zixun Zhou, Wenyu Chu, Yao Jiang, Wei Lai, Pin Zhao and Xinhua Wang
Membranes 2022, 12(4), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12040380 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1647
Abstract
As an attractive way to deal with fresh water shortage, membrane-based desalination technologies are receiving increased interest. However, concentrated seawater brine, in needing further treatment, remains a main obstacle for desalination via membrane technology. Here, a hybrid technology integrating pressure-retarded osmosis with activated [...] Read more.
As an attractive way to deal with fresh water shortage, membrane-based desalination technologies are receiving increased interest. However, concentrated seawater brine, in needing further treatment, remains a main obstacle for desalination via membrane technology. Here, a hybrid technology integrating pressure-retarded osmosis with activated sludge process (PRO-MBR) was applied for simultaneously treating concentrated seawater brine and municipal wastewater. Performance of the PRO-MBR, including water flux, power density, contaminants removal, and membrane fouling was evaluated and compared at two different membrane orientations (i.e., active layer facing feed solution (AL-FS) mode and active layer facing draw solution (AL-DS) mode). During the PRO-MBR process, the municipal wastewater was completely treated regardless of the membrane orientation, which means that there was no concentrated sewage needing further treatment, owing to the biodegradation of microorganisms in the bioreactor. In the meantime, the concentrated brine of seawater desalination was diluted into the salinity level of seawater, which met the standard of seawater discharge. Owing to the high rejection of forward osmosis (FO) membrane, the removal efficiency of total organic carbon (TOC), total phosphorus (TP), ammonia nitrogen (NH4+-N), and total nitrogen (TN) was higher than 90% at both modes in the PRO-MBR. In addition, the PRO-MBR can simultaneously recover the existing osmotic energy between the municipal wastewater and the seawater brine at both modes. Compared with the AL-DS mode, the AL-FS mode took a shorter time and achieved a bigger power density to reach the same terminal point of the PRO-MBR owing to a better water flux performance. Furthermore, the membrane fouling was much more severe in the AL-DS mode. In conclusion, the current study demonstrated that the PRO-MBR at the AL-FS mode can be a promising and sustainable brine concentrate and municipal wastewater treatment technology for its simultaneous energy and water recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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11 pages, 2027 KiB  
Article
Retention and Fouling during Nanoparticle Filtration: Implications for Membrane Purification of Biotherapeutics
by Liang-Kai Chu, S. Ranil Wickramasinghe, Xianghong Qian and Andrew L. Zydney
Membranes 2022, 12(3), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12030299 - 07 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3225
Abstract
One major challenge in the development of nanoparticle-based therapeutics, including viral vectors for the delivery of gene therapies, is the development of cost-effective purification technologies. The objective of this study was to examine fouling and retention behaviors during the filtration of model nanoparticles [...] Read more.
One major challenge in the development of nanoparticle-based therapeutics, including viral vectors for the delivery of gene therapies, is the development of cost-effective purification technologies. The objective of this study was to examine fouling and retention behaviors during the filtration of model nanoparticles through membranes of different pore sizes and the effect of solution conditions. Data were obtained with 30 nm fluorescently labeled polystyrene latex nanoparticles using both cellulosic and polyethersulfone membranes at a constant filtrate flux, and both pressure and nanoparticle transmission were evaluated as a function of cumulative filtrate volume. The addition of NaCl caused a delay in nanoparticle transmission and an increase in fouling. Nanoparticle transmission was also a function of particle hydrophobicity. These results provide important insights into the factors controlling transmission and fouling during nanoparticle filtration as well as a framework for the development of membrane processes for the purification of nanoparticle-based therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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9 pages, 15514 KiB  
Article
Layered Antibiofouling Composite Membrane for Quenching Bacterial Signaling
by Kibaek Lee, Syed Salman Ali Shah, Hyeona Park, Chung-Hak Lee and Kwang-Ho Choo
Membranes 2022, 12(3), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12030296 - 04 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2138
Abstract
Bacterial quorum quenching (QQ) media with various structures (e.g., bead, cylinder, hollow cylinder, and sheet), which impart biofouling mitigation in membrane bioreactors (MBRs), have been reported. However, there has been a continuous demand for membranes with QQ capability. Thus, herein, we report a [...] Read more.
Bacterial quorum quenching (QQ) media with various structures (e.g., bead, cylinder, hollow cylinder, and sheet), which impart biofouling mitigation in membrane bioreactors (MBRs), have been reported. However, there has been a continuous demand for membranes with QQ capability. Thus, herein, we report a novel double-layered membrane comprising an outer layer containing a QQ bacterium (BH4 strain) on the polysulfone hollow fiber membrane. The double-layered composite membrane significantly inhibits biofilm formation (i.e., the biofilm density decreases by ~58%), biopolymer accumulation (e.g., polysaccharide), and signal molecule concentration (which decreases by ~38%) on the membrane surface. The transmembrane pressure buildup to 50 kPa of the BH4-embedded membrane (17.8 h ± 1.1) is delayed by more than thrice (p < 0.05) of the control with no BH4 in the membrane’s outer layer (5.5 h ± 0.8). This finding provides new insight into fabricating antibiofouling membranes with a self-regulating property against biofilm growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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18 pages, 2109 KiB  
Article
Permeate Flux in Ultrafiltration Processes—Understandings and Misunderstandings
by Robert W. Field and Jun Jie Wu
Membranes 2022, 12(2), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12020187 - 05 Feb 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5629
Abstract
Concentration polarization refers to the rapid emergence of concentration gradients at a membrane/solution interface resulting from selective transfer through the membrane. It is distinguishable from fouling in at least two ways: (1) the state of the molecules involved (in solution for concentration polarization, [...] Read more.
Concentration polarization refers to the rapid emergence of concentration gradients at a membrane/solution interface resulting from selective transfer through the membrane. It is distinguishable from fouling in at least two ways: (1) the state of the molecules involved (in solution for concentration polarization, although no longer in solution for fouling); and (2) by the timescale, normally less than a minute for concentration polarization, although generally at least two or more orders of magnitude more for fouling. Thus the phenomenon of flux decline occurring over a timescale of tens of minutes should not be attributed to concentration polarization establishing itself. This distinction and a number of questions surrounding modelling are addressed and clarified. There are two paradigmatic approaches for modelling flux, one uses the overall driving force (in which case allowance for osmotic effects are expressed as additional resistances) and the other uses the net driving force across the separating layer or fouled separating layer, although often the two are unfortunately comingled. In the discussion of flux decline models’ robust approaches for the determination of flux-time relationships, including the integral method of fouling analysis, are discussed and various concepts clarified. The final section emphases that for design purposes, pilot plant data are vital. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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13 pages, 5043 KiB  
Article
Membrane Distillation Hybrid Peroxydisulfate Activation toward Mitigating the Membrane Wetting by Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate
by Minyuan Han, Ruixue Zhao, Jianchao Shi, Xiaobo Li, Daoling He, Lang Liu and Le Han
Membranes 2022, 12(2), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12020164 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2307
Abstract
The fouling/wetting of hydrophobic membrane caused by organic substances with low-surface energy substantially limits the development of the membrane distillation (MD) process. The sulfate radical (SO4 ·)-based advanced oxidation process (AOP) has been a promising technology to [...] Read more.
The fouling/wetting of hydrophobic membrane caused by organic substances with low-surface energy substantially limits the development of the membrane distillation (MD) process. The sulfate radical (SO4 ·)-based advanced oxidation process (AOP) has been a promising technology to degrade organics in wastewater treatment, and peroxydisulfate (PDS) could be efficiently activated by heat. Thus, a hybrid process of MD-AOP via PDS activated by a hot feed was hypothesized to mitigate membrane fouling/wetting. Experiments dealing with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) containing a salty solution via two commercial membranes (PVDF and PTFE) were performed, and varying membrane wetting extents in the coupling process were discussed at different PDS concentrations and feed temperatures. Our results demonstrated permeate flux decline and a rise in conductivity due to membrane wetting by SDS, which was efficiently alleviated in the hybrid process rather than the standalone MD process. Moreover, such a mitigation was enhanced by a higher PDS concentration up to 5 mM and higher feed temperature. In addition, qualitative characterization on membrane coupons wetted by SDS was successfully performed using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The EIS results implied both types of hydrophobic membranes were protected from losing their hydrophobicity in the presence of PDS activation, agreeing with our initial hypothesis. This work could provide insight into future fouling/wetting control strategies for hydrophobic membranes and facilitate the development of an MD process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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12 pages, 1934 KiB  
Article
Phosphorus Recovery by Adsorption from the Membrane Permeate of an Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Digesting Waste-Activated Sludge
by Akira Hafuka and Katsuki Kimura
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010099 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2202
Abstract
The recovery of phosphorus (P) from waste activated sludge (WAS) is a promising approach for sustainable resource management. During the anaerobic digestion of WAS, orthophosphate is released, and this P species is favorable for adsorption recovery. In the present study, an anerobic membrane [...] Read more.
The recovery of phosphorus (P) from waste activated sludge (WAS) is a promising approach for sustainable resource management. During the anaerobic digestion of WAS, orthophosphate is released, and this P species is favorable for adsorption recovery. In the present study, an anerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) with a P-adsorption column was developed to generate biogas from WAS and to recover P from membrane permeate simultaneously. The effects of the hydraulic retention time (HRT) and solid retention time (SRT) of the AnMBR on P solubilization were investigated. As a result, the maximum P solubilization was 21% when the HRT and SRT were 45 days and 100 days, respectively. Orthophosphate in the membrane permeate was adsorbed and recovered using a mesoporous material called zirconium sulfate–surfactant micelle mesostructure (ZS) in the column. The adsorbed P could be desorbed from the ZS with a NaOH solution, and P was recovered as a concentrated solution by a factor of 25. When the HRT was 19 days, the biogas yield and biogas production rate were 0.26 L/g-VSinput and 0.123 L/L/d, respectively. The average methane content in the biogas was 80%. The developed membrane-based process may be effective for resource recovery from WAS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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19 pages, 1674 KiB  
Article
Demonstration and Assessment of Purification Cascades for the Separation and Valorization of Hemicellulose from Organosolv Beechwood Hydrolyzates
by Roy Nitzsche, Hendrik Etzold, Marlen Verges, Arne Gröngröft and Matthias Kraume
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010082 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1910
Abstract
Hemicellulose and its derivatives have a high potential to replace fossil-based materials in various high-value-added products. Within this study, two purification cascades for the separation and valorization of hemicellulose and its derived monomeric sugars from organosolv beechwood hydrolyzates (BWHs) were experimentally demonstrated and [...] Read more.
Hemicellulose and its derivatives have a high potential to replace fossil-based materials in various high-value-added products. Within this study, two purification cascades for the separation and valorization of hemicellulose and its derived monomeric sugars from organosolv beechwood hydrolyzates (BWHs) were experimentally demonstrated and assessed. Purification cascade 1 included hydrothermal treatment for converting remaining hemicellulose oligomers to xylose and the purification of the xylose by nanofiltration. Purification cascade 2 included the removal of lignin by adsorption, followed by ultrafiltration for the separation and concentration of hemicellulose. Based on the findings of the experimental work, both cascades were simulated on an industrial scale using Aspen Plus®. In purification cascade 1, 63% of the oligomeric hemicellulose was hydrothermally converted to xylose and purified by nanofiltration to 7.8 t/h of a xylose solution with a concentration of 200 g/L. In purification cascade 2, 80% of the lignin was removed by adsorption, and 7.6 t/h of a purified hemicellulose solution with a concentration of 200 g/L was obtained using ultrafiltration. The energy efficiency of the cascades was 59% and 26%, respectively. Furthermore, the estimation of specific production costs showed that xylose can be recovered from BWH at the cost of 73.7 EUR/t and hemicellulose at 135.1 EUR/t. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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14 pages, 2383 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Aquaporin Loading for Performance Enhancement of Aquaporin-Based Biomimetic Thin-Film Composite Membranes
by Yang Zhao, Xuesong Li, Jing Wei, Jaume Torres, Anthony G. Fane, Rong Wang and Chuyang Y. Tang
Membranes 2022, 12(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12010032 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2843
Abstract
The aquaporin-based biomimetic thin-film composite membrane (ABM-TFC) has demonstrated superior separation performance and achieved successful commercialization. The larger-scale production of the ABM membrane requires an appropriate balance between the performance and manufacturing cost. This study has systematically investigated the effects of proteoliposome concentration, [...] Read more.
The aquaporin-based biomimetic thin-film composite membrane (ABM-TFC) has demonstrated superior separation performance and achieved successful commercialization. The larger-scale production of the ABM membrane requires an appropriate balance between the performance and manufacturing cost. This study has systematically investigated the effects of proteoliposome concentration, protein-to-lipid ratio, as well as the additive on the separation performance of ABM for the purpose of finding the optimal preparation conditions for the ABM from the perspective of industrial production. Although increasing the proteoliposome concentration or protein-to-lipid ratio within a certain range could significantly enhance the water permeability of ABMs by increasing the loading of aquaporins in the selective layer, the enhancement effect was marginal or even compromised beyond an optimal point. Alternatively, adding cholesterol in the proteoliposome could further enhance the water flux of the ABM membrane, with minor effects on the salt rejection. The optimized ABM not only achieved a nearly doubled water flux with unchanged salt rejection compared to the control, but also demonstrated satisfactory filtration stability within a wide range of operation temperatures. This study provides a practical strategy for the optimization of ABM-TFC membranes to fit within the scheme of industrial-scale production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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18 pages, 1920 KiB  
Review
Membrane Applications in Autologous Cell Therapy
by Risto Martin, Rui Lei, Yida Zeng, Jiachen Zhu, Hong Chang, Hua Ye and Zhanfeng Cui
Membranes 2022, 12(12), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12121182 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2254
Abstract
Stem cell and cell therapies, particularly autologous cell therapies, are becoming a common practice. However, in order for these technologies to achieve wide-scale clinical application, the prohibitively high cost associated with these therapies must be addressed through creative engineering. Membranes can be a [...] Read more.
Stem cell and cell therapies, particularly autologous cell therapies, are becoming a common practice. However, in order for these technologies to achieve wide-scale clinical application, the prohibitively high cost associated with these therapies must be addressed through creative engineering. Membranes can be a disruptive technology to reshape the bioprocessing and manufacture of cellular products and significantly reduce the cost of autologous cell therapies. Examples of successful membrane applications include expansions of CAR-T cells, various human stem cells, and production of extracellular vesicles (EVs) using hollow fibre membrane bioreactors. Novel membranes with tailored functions and surface properties and novel membrane modules that can accommodate the changing needs for surface area and transport properties are to be developed to fulfil this key role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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15 pages, 2246 KiB  
Perspective
Development and Implementation of MBR Monitoring: Use of 2D Fluorescence Spectroscopy
by Claudia F. Galinha and João G. Crespo
Membranes 2022, 12(12), 1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12121218 - 02 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2581
Abstract
The monitoring of a membrane bioreactor (MBR) requires the assessment of both biological and membrane performance. Additionally, the development of membrane fouling and the requirements for frequent membrane cleaning are still major concerns during MBR operation, requiring tight monitoring and system characterization. Transmembrane [...] Read more.
The monitoring of a membrane bioreactor (MBR) requires the assessment of both biological and membrane performance. Additionally, the development of membrane fouling and the requirements for frequent membrane cleaning are still major concerns during MBR operation, requiring tight monitoring and system characterization. Transmembrane pressure is usually monitored online and allows following the evolution of membrane performance. However, it does not allow distinguishing the fouling mechanisms occurring in the system or predicting the future behavior of the membrane. The assessment of the biological medium requires manual sampling, and the analyses involve several steps that are labor-intensive, with low temporal resolution, preventing real-time monitoring. Two-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy is a comprehensive technique, able to assess the system status at real-time without disturbing the biological system. It provides large sets of data (system fingerprints) from which meaningful information can be extracted. Nevertheless, mathematical data analysis (such as machine learning) is essential to properly extract the information contained in fluorescence spectra and correlate it with operating and performance parameters. The potential of 2D fluorescence spectroscopy as a process monitoring tool for MBRs is, therefore, discussed in the present work in view of the actual knowledge and the authors’ own experience in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honorary Issue for Professor Anthony Fane)
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