Membrane Technology for Water Treatment and Desalination

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2022) | Viewed by 19644

Special Issue Editors

Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interests: polymeric membrane; transport phenomena; desalination; water reuse; process modeling
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Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interests: biofilm; membrane biofouling; membrane fabrication; forward osmosis; pressure retarded osmosis; resource recovery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Membrane technology, including reverse osmosis, forward osmosis/pressure regarded osmosis, etc., has been extensively applied in many important applications ranging from desalination to water/wastewater treatment and water reuse. Emerging membrane materials, including novel polymeric or inorganic membranes, have been increasingly studied in recent years. Model-driven (e.g., transport and process modeling) and data-driven (e.g., deep learning and machine learning) approaches can further deepen our understanding of water/solutes/trace organic contaminants transport mechanisms in membranes and help us to analyze the membrane structure–property–performance relationship. In addition to the fabrication of novel membrane materials, further investigation and integration with novel membrane modules and system designs could potentially unleash the full benefits of high-performance membranes. Membrane fouling behaviors have also been widely explored and are of great fundamental significance and practical importance for many applications.

This Special Issue of Water on “Membrane Technology for Water Treatment and Desalination” highlights the latest developments and future perspectives of various membrane-based applications. Both reviews and original articles are welcome.

Dr. Zhe Yang
Dr. Peng-Fei Sun
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • water/wastewater treatment
  • desalination
  • reverse osmosis
  • forward osmosis/pressure retarded osmosis
  • membrane module and system design
  • transport and process modeling
  • deep/machine learning
  • trace organic contaminants
  • membrane fouling
  • polymeric/inorganic membrane

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 4243 KiB  
Article
Removal of NOMs by Carbon Nanotubes/Polysulfone Nanocomposite Hollow Fiber Membranes for the Control of Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs)
by Jun Yin, Maria Fidalgo and Baolin Deng
Water 2023, 15(11), 2054; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15112054 - 29 May 2023
Viewed by 948
Abstract
It has been well established that natural organic matters (NOMs) are precursors for the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water supplies, thus the removal of NOMs is often used as an effective approach to limit DBPs production. In this study, we [...] Read more.
It has been well established that natural organic matters (NOMs) are precursors for the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water supplies, thus the removal of NOMs is often used as an effective approach to limit DBPs production. In this study, we evaluated the application of oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (OMWNTs)/polysulfone (PSU) nanocomposite hollow fiber membranes (HFM) for the removal of NOMs and its impact on the production of DBPs following water chlorination. Analysis of source water samples by fluorescence excitation/emission matrix (EEM) spectrometry indicated that the dominant dissolved organic matters were humic acid. Evaluation of the fabricated nanocomposite HFMs showed improved water fluxes (30~50%), better fouling resistance, and a comparable solute rejection rate when compared with the conventional PSU membranes. The flux increase was attributed to the increased surface hydrophilicity and porosity of the membrane after embedding the hydrophilic OMWNTs. The membrane filtration resulted in a reduction of UV254 by approximately 52%, 48%, and 38% for three water samples from Missouri River, Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, and Columbia Water Treatment Plant, respectively. The corresponding reduction in trihalomethane formation potential (THMFP) reached 40%, 70%, and 27%, respectively. Overall, this study demonstrated that proper OMWNTs/PSU ultrafiltration membranes could remove a portion of NOMs from water at a relatively low cross-membrane pressure. It also illustrates the innovative concept that membrane design could be tailored for specific water quality conditions and regulatory requirements; in this particular case, to fabricate a membrane to reduce the THMFP to a level that meets the regulatory standards for trihalomethanes when the water was disinfected by chlorine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technology for Water Treatment and Desalination)
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13 pages, 3252 KiB  
Article
Effects of Ethyl Lauroyl Arginate (LAE) on Biofilm Detachment: Shear Rate, Concentration, and Dosing Time
by Peng-Fei Sun, Taek-Seung Kim, So-Young Ham, Yong-Sun Jang and Hee-Deung Park
Water 2022, 14(14), 2158; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14142158 - 07 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2323
Abstract
Biofilm formation is one of the main obstacles in membrane treatment. The non-oxidizing biocide ethyl lauroyl arginate (LAE) is promising for mitigating biofilm development on membrane surfaces. However, the operating conditions of LAE and their impact on biofilm detachment are not comprehensively understood. [...] Read more.
Biofilm formation is one of the main obstacles in membrane treatment. The non-oxidizing biocide ethyl lauroyl arginate (LAE) is promising for mitigating biofilm development on membrane surfaces. However, the operating conditions of LAE and their impact on biofilm detachment are not comprehensively understood. In this study, a real-time in vitro flow cell system was utilized to observe biofilm dispersal caused by the shear rate, concentration, and treatment time of LAE. This confirmed that the biofilm was significantly reduced to 68.2% at a shear rate of 3.42 s−1 due to the increased physical lifting force. LAE exhibited two different mechanisms for bacterial inactivation and biofilm dispersal. Biofilms treated with LAE at sub-growth inhibitory concentrations for a longer time could effectively detach the biofilm formed on the surface of the glass slides, which can be attributed to the increased motility of microorganisms. However, a high concentration (i.e., bactericidal concentration) of LAE should be seriously considered because of the inactivated sessile bacteria and their residual debris remaining on the surface. This study sheds light on the effect of LAE on biofilm detachment and provides insights into biofouling mitigation during the membrane process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technology for Water Treatment and Desalination)
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19 pages, 4478 KiB  
Article
Novel Water-Soluble Poly(terephthalic-co-glycerol-g-fumaric acid) Copolymer Nanoparticles Harnessed as Pore Formers for Polyethersulfone Membrane Modification: Permeability–Selectivity Tradeoff Manipulation
by Khalid T. Rashid, Haiyam M. Alayan, Alyaa E. Mahdi, Mohammad N. AL-Baiati, Hasan Sh. Majdi, Issam K. Salih, Jamal M. Ali and Qusay F. Alsalhy
Water 2022, 14(9), 1507; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14091507 - 08 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2804
Abstract
This work presents poly(terephthalic-co-glycerol-g-fumaric acid) (TGF) as a novel water-soluble polymeric nano-additive for the modification of a polyethersulfone ultrafiltration membrane. The TGF was harnessed as a pore former, aiming to improve the membrane surface porosity and hydrophilicity. Modified membranes [...] Read more.
This work presents poly(terephthalic-co-glycerol-g-fumaric acid) (TGF) as a novel water-soluble polymeric nano-additive for the modification of a polyethersulfone ultrafiltration membrane. The TGF was harnessed as a pore former, aiming to improve the membrane surface porosity and hydrophilicity. Modified membranes were characterized to observe the influence of varying the TGF content on their hydrophilicity, porosity, morphological structure, and composition, as well as their entire performance. The results disclosed that porosity and hydrophilicity of the modified membrane prepared using 4 wt.% TGF content recorded an enhancement by 24% and 38%, respectively. Herein, the lower contact angle was mainly a reflection of the improved porosity, but not of the hydrophilic nature of water-soluble TGF. Furthermore, upon increasing the TGF content in the polymeric matrix, a more porous structure with longer finger-like micropores was formed. Moreover, a sponge-like layer clearly appeared near the bottom surface. Nevertheless, at optimum TGF content (4%), a clear enhancement in the water flux and BSA retention was witnessed by values of 298 LMH and 97%, respectively. These results demonstrate that the obtained permeation and separation behavior of the PES/TGF membrane could stand as a promising choice for water and wastewater treatment applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technology for Water Treatment and Desalination)
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17 pages, 7411 KiB  
Article
Modification of Poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) Membranes with DES-Functionalized Carbon Nanospheres for Removal of Methyl Orange by Membrane Distillation
by Mustafa Mohammed Aljumaily, Nisreen S. Ali, Alyaa Esam Mahdi, Haiyam M. Alayan, Mohamed AlOmar, Mohammed Majeed Hameed, Bashar Ismael, Qusay F. Alsalhy, Mohammed A. Alsaadi, Hasan Sh. Majdi and Zainab Bahaa Mohammed
Water 2022, 14(9), 1396; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14091396 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2760
Abstract
Chemical pollutants, such as methyl orange (MO), constitute the main ingredients in the textile industry wastewater, and specifically, the dyeing process. The use of such chemicals leads to huge quantities of unfixed dyes to make their way to the water effluent and consequently [...] Read more.
Chemical pollutants, such as methyl orange (MO), constitute the main ingredients in the textile industry wastewater, and specifically, the dyeing process. The use of such chemicals leads to huge quantities of unfixed dyes to make their way to the water effluent and consequently escalates the water pollution problem. This work investigates the incorporation of hydrophobic carbon nanospheres (CNS) prepared from the pyrolysis of acetylene using the chemical vapor deposition technique with poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP) in order to enhance its hydrophobicity. Moreover, a deep eutectic solvent (DES) was used to enhance the membrane’s porosity. The former was based on the quaternary ammonium salt (N,N-diethyl-ethanol-ammonium chloride) as a chemical addition throughout the membrane synthesis. Direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) was employed to assess the performance of the modified membrane for treatment of MO contaminated water. The phase inversion method was used to embed various contents of CNS (i.e., 1.0, 3.0, and 5.0 wt.%) with 22:78 wt.% of PVDF-co-HFP/N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone solution to prepare flat-sheet membranes. The membrane embedded with 5 wt.% CNS resulted in an increase in membrane hydrophobicity and presented considerable enhancement in DCMD permeation from 12 to 35 L/h.m2 with salt rejection >99.9%. Moreover, the composite membrane showed excellent anti-biofouling and mechanical characteristics as compared to the pristine counterpart. Using this membrane, a complete rejection of MO was achieved due to the synergistic contribution of the dye negative charge and the size exclusion effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technology for Water Treatment and Desalination)
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24 pages, 8227 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Modification of Polyethersulfone Membrane with Poly(Maleic Anhydride-Co-Glycerol) as Novel Copolymer
by Zainab Safaa Al Hachim, Ali Mousa Ridha, Mohammad N. AL-Baiati, Qusay F. Alsalhy and Hasan Shakir Majdi
Water 2022, 14(8), 1207; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14081207 - 08 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2169
Abstract
This work presented an endeavour to fabricate sustainable and eco-friendly polyethersulfone (PES) ultrafiltration membranes. A novel and graft copolymer (Poly(Maleic Anhydride-Co-Glycerol)) (PMG) have been synthesized via a facile and rapid route to impart their hydrophilic features onto the final PES membrane. A series [...] Read more.
This work presented an endeavour to fabricate sustainable and eco-friendly polyethersulfone (PES) ultrafiltration membranes. A novel and graft copolymer (Poly(Maleic Anhydride-Co-Glycerol)) (PMG) have been synthesized via a facile and rapid route to impart their hydrophilic features onto the final PES membrane. A series of characterization tools, for both nanoadditives and nanocomposite membranes, have been harnessed to confirm their successful fabrication processes. These include Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and contact angle measurements (CA). Results disclosed the successful synthesis of PMG nanoparticles that manifested a smooth homogenous surface with an average molecular size of 88.07 nm. The nanocomposite membrane structure has witnessed a gradual development upon each increment in the nanoparticle content ratio along with relatively thicker pore walls. The size and shape of figure-like micropores exhibited critical visible structural changes following the nanoadditive incorporation into the PES polymeric matrix. For the nanocomposite membrane, the SEM imaging indicated that a thicker active layer and less finger-like micropores were formed at higher PMG NP content within the membrane matrix. Hydrophilicity measurements disclosed a reversible correlation with the NP content where the CA angle value was at a minimum at the higher PMG loading content. Compared to the pristine membrane, a considerable enhancement in the performance of the modified membranes was witnessed. The membrane prepared using 2.5 g PMGNPs showcased six times higher pure water flux than neat PES membrane and maintained the highest retention (98%) against BSA protein solution. Additionally, the nanocomposite revealed promising antifouling and self-cleaning characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technology for Water Treatment and Desalination)
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Review

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21 pages, 1612 KiB  
Review
Microalgae-Enabled Wastewater Treatment: A Sustainable Strategy for Bioremediation of Pesticides
by Pei Sean Goh, Woei Jye Lau, Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Zahra Samawati, Yong Yeow Liang and Devagi Kanakaraju
Water 2023, 15(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15010070 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 7426
Abstract
Pesticides have been identified as major contaminants of various waterways. Being classified as potential endocrine disrupting compounds, pesticides in aqueous system are highly hazardous to aquatic organisms and the ecosystem. The treatment of pesticide-containing wastewater can be performed through several means, but a [...] Read more.
Pesticides have been identified as major contaminants of various waterways. Being classified as potential endocrine disrupting compounds, pesticides in aqueous system are highly hazardous to aquatic organisms and the ecosystem. The treatment of pesticide-containing wastewater can be performed through several means, but a wastewater treatment strategy which emphasizes both treatment efficiency and sustainability is a necessity of current time. In this context, bioremediation has been increasingly promoted as an alternative technique for the remediation of diverse pollutants. Particularly, bioremediation which involves the utilization of microalgae for the removal or conversion of pesticides to the harmless or less harmful compounds is becoming a trend. Exploiting microalgae as a tool for wastewater treatment presents multiple advantages over conventional treatment technologies, which include an opportunity to simultaneously treat pesticide-containing wastewater and nutrient recovery for microalgae cultivation as well as less formation of toxic sludge. This review discusses the roles of microalgae in mitigating pesticide pollution issue, while offering an opportunity for nutrient recovery from various wastewater sources. Based on the current laboratory studies, the use of microalgae bioremediation as a promising strategy for pesticide treatment has been rationalized. The establishment of more pilot scale studies is highly encouraged to further facilitate the implementation of this treatment approach for practical application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technology for Water Treatment and Desalination)
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