Recent Advances in Wastewater Treatment Based on Membrane Technologies

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 11948

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
Interests: pollution control engineering; water and wastewater treatment; sustainable energy systems; surface engineering of polymeric membranes; desalination; nanomaterials environmental safety
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
College of Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
Interests: membranes; wastewater treatment; desalination
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Section of Natural and Applied Sciences, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent CT1 1QU, UK
Interests: wastewater treatment; membrane bioreactors; quorum sensing; quorum quenching; biofilms; anaerobic digestion; nutrients removal
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water pollution is one of the greatest challenges around the world. A major global problem is the rising lack of appropriate quality water supplies. Membrane technology has been accepted as an effective separation process for water and wastewater treatment due to the reliability and efficiency of contaminant rejection, along with the flexibility provided through a range of membrane materials and pore sizes (microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), and reverse osmosis (RO)).

Membrane filtration processes offer several benefits, including easy operation, monitoring, and maintenance, compact modular construction and smaller footprint, smaller bulk chemical storage tanks and feed facilities, and low chemical sludge effluent. However, like with any other technology, there are obstacles that must be solved to increase the performance of the membrane process.

Recent research attempts have focused on developing polymer-based nanocomposite membranes for sustainable water purification, aimed at enhancing fouling resistance and surmounting the trade-off relationship between permeability and solute rejection. Nanocomposite membranes are a promising modified version of traditional polymeric membranes for water and wastewater treatment, with three main characteristics of enhanced permeation, improved rejection, and reduced fouling. For novel nanocomposite membranes, there is a strong connection between membrane fabrication methods, the properties of fabricated membranes, and membrane performance.

We are seeking high-quality research and review papers on different nanocomposite membrane fabrication and modification techniques for mixed matrix membranes and thin film membranes for both pressure-driven and non-pressure-driven membranes using different types of nanoparticles, carbon-based materials, and polymers. Research contributions on different aspects related to recent advances in wastewater treatment based on membrane technology are welcome to this Special Issue.

Kind Regards,
Dr. Negin Koutahzadeh
Dr. Milad Rabbani Esfahani
Dr. Shamas Tabraiz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • nanocomposite membranes
  • membrane distillation
  • membrane fouling
  • microfiltration
  • ultrafiltration
  • nanofiltration
  • reverse osmosis
  • forward osmosis
  • electrodialysis
  • membrane surface functionalization
  • water, wastewater treatment and water reuse

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 3647 KiB  
Article
Novel TiO2/GO-Al2O3 Hollow Fiber Nanofiltration Membrane for Desalination and Lignin Recovery
by Xuelong Zhuang, Edoardo Magnone, Min Chang Shin, Jeong In Lee, Jae Yeon Hwang, Young Chan Choi and Jung Hoon Park
Membranes 2022, 12(10), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12100950 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1956
Abstract
Due to its greater physical–chemical stability, ceramic nanofiltration (NF) membranes were used in a number of industrial applications. In this study, a novel NF membrane was prepared by co-depositing a titanium dioxide (TiO2) and graphene oxide (GO) composite layer directly onto [...] Read more.
Due to its greater physical–chemical stability, ceramic nanofiltration (NF) membranes were used in a number of industrial applications. In this study, a novel NF membrane was prepared by co-depositing a titanium dioxide (TiO2) and graphene oxide (GO) composite layer directly onto a porous α-Al2O3 hollow fiber (HF) support. An 8 µm-thick TiO2/GO layer was deposited to the surface of α-Al2O3 HF support by vacuum deposition method to produce advanced TiO2/GO-Al2O3 HF NF membrane. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrographs, energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA), porosity, 3-point bending strength, zeta potential analysis, and hydrophilic properties by water contact angle are used for TiO2/GO-Al2O3 HF NF membrane characterization. The results show that the developed membrane’s MWCO ranged from 600 to 800 Da. The water flux, rejection of lignin, and sodium ions were 5.6 L/m2 h·bar, ~92.1%, and ~5.5%, respectively. In a five-day NF process, the TiO2/GO-Al2O3 HF NF membrane exhibits good lignin permeation stability of about 14.5 L/m2 h. Full article
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13 pages, 2160 KiB  
Article
Targeting Microbial Biofouling by Controlling Biofilm Formation and Dispersal Using Rhamnolipids on RO Membrane
by Zahidullah, Muhammad Faisal Siddiqui, Shamas Tabraiz, Farhana Maqbool, Fazal Adnan, Ihsan Ullah, Muhammad Ajmal Shah, Waqar Azeem Jadoon, Tariq Mehmood, Sadia Qayyum and Ziaur Rahman
Membranes 2022, 12(10), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12100928 - 25 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
Finding new biological ways to control biofouling of the membrane in reverse osmosis (RO) is an important substitute for synthetic chemicals in the water industry. Here, the study was focused on the antimicrobial, biofilm formation, and biofilm dispersal potential of rhamnolipids (RLs) (biosurfactants). [...] Read more.
Finding new biological ways to control biofouling of the membrane in reverse osmosis (RO) is an important substitute for synthetic chemicals in the water industry. Here, the study was focused on the antimicrobial, biofilm formation, and biofilm dispersal potential of rhamnolipids (RLs) (biosurfactants). The MTT assay was also carried out to evaluate the effect of RLs on biofilm viability. Biofilm was qualitatively and quantitatively assessed by crystal violet assay, light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy (bacterial biomass (µm2), surface coverage (%)), and extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs). It was exhibited that RLs can reduce bacterial growth. The higher concentrations (≥100 mg/L) markedly reduced bacterial growth and biofilm formation, while RLs exhibited substantial dispersal effects (89.10% reduction) on preformed biofilms. Further, RLs exhibited 79.24% biomass reduction while polysaccharide was reduced to 60.55 µg/mL (p < 0.05) and protein to 4.67 µg/mL (p < 0.05). Light microscopy revealed biofilm reduction, which was confirmed using fluorescence microscopy. Microscopic images were processed with BioImageL software. It was revealed that biomass surface coverage was reduced to 1.1% at 1000 mg/L of RLs and that 43,245 µm2 of biomass was present for control, while biomass was reduced to 493 µm2 at 1000 mg/L of RLs. Thus, these data suggest that RLs have antimicrobial, biofilm control, and dispersal potential against membrane biofouling. Full article
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24 pages, 3926 KiB  
Article
Membrane Fouling Diagnosis of Membrane Components Based on MOJS-ADBN
by Yaoke Shi, Zhiwen Wang, Xianjun Du, Bin Gong, Yanrong Lu, Long Li and Guobi Ling
Membranes 2022, 12(9), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12090843 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
Given the strong nonlinearity and large time-varying characteristics of membrane component fouling in the membrane water treatment process, a membrane component-membrane fouling diagnosis method based on the multi-objective jellyfish search adaptive deep belief network (MOJS-ADBN) is proposed. Firstly, the adaptive learning rate is [...] Read more.
Given the strong nonlinearity and large time-varying characteristics of membrane component fouling in the membrane water treatment process, a membrane component-membrane fouling diagnosis method based on the multi-objective jellyfish search adaptive deep belief network (MOJS-ADBN) is proposed. Firstly, the adaptive learning rate is introduced into the unsupervised pre-training phase of DBN to improve the convergence speed of the network. Secondly, the MOJS method is used to replace the gradient-based layer-by-layer weight fine-tuning method in traditional DBN to improve the ability of network feature extraction. At the same time, the convergence of the MOJS-ADBN learning process is proven by constructing the Lyapunov function. Finally, MOJS-ADBN is used in the membrane packaging diagnosis to verify the performance of the model diagnosis. The experimental results show that MOJS-ADBN has a fast convergence speed and a high diagnostic accuracy, and can provide a theoretical basis for membrane fouling diagnosis in the actual operation of membrane water treatment. Full article
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13 pages, 4365 KiB  
Article
SVM and ANN Modelling Approach for the Optimization of Membrane Permeability of a Membrane Rotating Biological Contactor for Wastewater Treatment
by Sharjeel Waqas, Noorfidza Yub Harun, Nonni Soraya Sambudi, Ushtar Arshad, Nik Abdul Hadi Md Nordin, Muhammad Roil Bilad, Anwar Ameen Hezam Saeed and Asher Ahmed Malik
Membranes 2022, 12(9), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12090821 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2109
Abstract
Membrane fouling significantly hinders the widespread application of membrane technology. In the current study, a support vector machine (SVM) and artificial neural networks (ANN) modelling approach was adopted to optimize the membrane permeability in a novel membrane rotating biological contactor (MRBC). The MRBC [...] Read more.
Membrane fouling significantly hinders the widespread application of membrane technology. In the current study, a support vector machine (SVM) and artificial neural networks (ANN) modelling approach was adopted to optimize the membrane permeability in a novel membrane rotating biological contactor (MRBC). The MRBC utilizes the disk rotation mechanism to generate a shear rate at the membrane surface to scour off the foulants. The effect of operational parameters (disk rotational speed, hydraulic retention time (HRT), and sludge retention time (SRT)) was studied on the membrane permeability. ANN and SVM are machine learning algorithms that aim to predict the model based on the trained data sets. The implementation and efficacy of machine learning and statistical approaches have been demonstrated through real-time experimental results. Feed-forward ANN with the back-propagation algorithm and SVN regression models for various kernel functions were trained to augment the membrane permeability. An overall comparison of predictive models for the test data sets reveals the model’s significance. ANN modelling with 13 hidden layers gives the highest R2 value of >0.99, and the SVM model with the Bayesian optimizer approach results in R2 values higher than 0.99. The MRBC is a promising substitute for traditional suspended growth processes, which aligns with the stipulations of ecological evolution and environmentally friendly treatment. Full article
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Review

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26 pages, 9280 KiB  
Review
Reduction of Ultrafiltration Membrane Fouling by the Pretreatment Removal of Emerging Pollutants: A Review
by Jianguo Zhang, Gaotian Li, Xingcheng Yuan, Panpan Li, Yongfa Yu, Weihua Yang and Shuang Zhao
Membranes 2023, 13(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13010077 - 8 Jan 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4190
Abstract
Ultrafiltration (UF) processes exhibit high removal efficiencies for suspended solids and organic macromolecules, while UF membrane fouling is the biggest obstacle affecting the wide application of UF technology. To solve this problem, various pretreatment measures, including coagulation, adsorption, and advanced oxidation, for application [...] Read more.
Ultrafiltration (UF) processes exhibit high removal efficiencies for suspended solids and organic macromolecules, while UF membrane fouling is the biggest obstacle affecting the wide application of UF technology. To solve this problem, various pretreatment measures, including coagulation, adsorption, and advanced oxidation, for application prior to UF processes have been proposed and applied in actual water treatment processes. Previously, researchers mainly focused on the contribution of natural macromolecular pollutants to UF membrane fouling, while the mechanisms of the influence of emerging pollutants (EPs) in UF processes (such as antibiotics, microplastics, antibiotic resistance genes, etc.) on membrane fouling still need to be determined. This review introduces the removal efficiency and separation mechanism for EPs for pretreatments combined with UF membrane separation technology and evaluates the degree of membrane fouling based on the UF membrane’s materials/pores and the structural characteristics of the cake layer. This paper shows that the current membrane separation process should be actively developed with the aim of overcoming specific problems in order to meet the technical requirements for the efficient separation of EPs. Full article
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