Topic Editors

Center for Marine Environmental Ecology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
Prof. Dr. Jiafu Shi
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

Novel Membranes for Energy Harvesting and Pollution Control

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 October 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 December 2023)
Viewed by
7918

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to the increasing energy demands and environmental problems caused by the improper use of energy, people urgently need clean energy to ensure the sustainable development of society. Researchers have studied a variety of energy storage (e.g., capacitors and batteries) and conversion devices (e.g., solar cells and fuel cells) to collect/convert light energy, chemical energy, mechanical energy, etc. for various applications. One potential approach for green energy collection/conversion is membrane technology, such as membrane-based hydrovoltaic power generation, which can simultaneously realize power generation and pollutant removal. As an important component, the membrane provides an important guarantee for energy conversion and stable operation of the device. Scientists have especially shown interest in new materials with high mechanical/chemical stability, low mass resistance and high energy density. However, the efficient collection/conversion of energy using membranes still faces many challenges, especially when environmental remediation is also considered. This Topic will focus on recent advances in the fabrication, modification and applications of membranes for energy collection/conversion and pollutant removal. The aim is to generate updated knowledge in this field, and to provide guidance for future research.

The topics of interest include but are not limited to the preparation and application of various membranes for energy collection and conversion, such as hydrovoltaic power generation membranes, ion-selective nanostructured membranes, (photo)electrochemical membranes, and biomimetic membranes. Original papers and reviews are welcome. 

Prof. Dr. Xianhua Liu
Prof. Dr. Jiafu Shi
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • membranes
  • energy collection
  • pollutant removal
  • polymers
  • Wastewater Treatment

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Polymers
polymers
5.0 6.6 2009 13.7 Days CHF 2700
Membranes
membranes
4.2 4.4 2011 13.6 Days CHF 2700
Pollutants
pollutants
- - 2021 21.7 Days CHF 1000

Preprints.org is a multidiscipline platform providing preprint service that is dedicated to sharing your research from the start and empowering your research journey.

MDPI Topics is cooperating with Preprints.org and has built a direct connection between MDPI journals and Preprints.org. Authors are encouraged to enjoy the benefits by posting a preprint at Preprints.org prior to publication:

  1. Immediately share your ideas ahead of publication and establish your research priority;
  2. Protect your idea from being stolen with this time-stamped preprint article;
  3. Enhance the exposure and impact of your research;
  4. Receive feedback from your peers in advance;
  5. Have it indexed in Web of Science (Preprint Citation Index), Google Scholar, Crossref, SHARE, PrePubMed, Scilit and Europe PMC.

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Journals
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
10 pages, 2159 KiB  
Article
Evaporation Driven Hydrovoltaic Generator Based on Nano-Alumina-Coated Polyethylene Terephthalate Film
Polymers 2023, 15(20), 4079; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15204079 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Collecting energy from the ambient environment through green and sustainable methods is highly expected to alleviate pollution and energy problems worldwide. Here, we report a facile and flexible hydrovoltaic generator capable of utilizing natural water evaporation for sustainable electricity production. The generator was [...] Read more.
Collecting energy from the ambient environment through green and sustainable methods is highly expected to alleviate pollution and energy problems worldwide. Here, we report a facile and flexible hydrovoltaic generator capable of utilizing natural water evaporation for sustainable electricity production. The generator was fabricated by coating nano-Al2O3 on a twistable polyethylene terephthalate film. An open circuit voltage of 1.7 V was obtained on a piece of centimeter-sized hydrovoltaic generator under ambient conditions. The supercapacitor charged by the hydrovoltaic device can power a mini-motor efficiently. Moreover, by expanding the size or connecting it in series/parallel, the energy output of the generator can be further improved. Finally, the influence factors and the mechanism for power generation were primarily investigated. Electrical energy is produced by the migration of water through charged capillary channels. The environmental conditions, the properties of the solution and the morphology of the film have important effects on the electrical performance. This study is anticipated to offer enlightenment into designing novel hydrovoltaic devices, providing diverse energy sources for various self-powered devices and systems. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 5963 KiB  
Article
Effect of Polyvinylidene Fluoride Membrane Production Conditions on Its Structure and Performance Characteristics
Polymers 2022, 14(23), 5283; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14235283 - 03 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
Poly (vinylidene fluoride) membranes were prepared by freeze-casting. The effects of PVDF concentration, and freezing temperature on the morphology, crystallization, and performance of prepared membranes were examined. Polymer concentration was varied from 10 to 25 wt%. The freezing temperature was varied from −5 [...] Read more.
Poly (vinylidene fluoride) membranes were prepared by freeze-casting. The effects of PVDF concentration, and freezing temperature on the morphology, crystallization, and performance of prepared membranes were examined. Polymer concentration was varied from 10 to 25 wt%. The freezing temperature was varied from −5 to −25 °C. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and distilled water were used as solvents and non-solvents, respectively. The first step of this study was devoted to estimating the optimal concentration of PVDF solution in DMSO. Membranes prepared at different ratios were characterized using physical and mechanical characteristics and porosity. The second step was to optimize the time required for the production of the membranes. In the third step, it was shown that the freezing temperature had a remarkable effect on the morphology of the membranes: as the temperature decreases, there is a transition from spherulite structures to interconnected pores. It was shown that the diversity in the pore pattern for PVDF affects remarkably the water permeability through the polymer membrane. During the monitoring of the spread of crystallized areas during the formation of the membrane, it was found that the crystallization of the solvent begins at localized points of the microscale, further crystallized areas spread radially or unevenly along the surface of the solution, forming contact borders, which can lead to changes in the properties of the membrane in its area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Novel Membranes for Energy Harvesting and Pollution Control)
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

19 pages, 3444 KiB  
Article
Novel Polyelectrolyte Complex Membranes Containing Carboxymethyl Cellulose–Gelatin for Pervaporation Dehydration of Azeotropic Bioethanol for Biofuel
Polymers 2022, 14(23), 5114; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14235114 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1480
Abstract
Polyelectrolyte complex membranes (PECMs) were prepared by combining sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (NaCMC) and gelatin (Ge) with variations in the Ge content in the NaCMC matrix. Characterization methods, such as infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), [...] Read more.
Polyelectrolyte complex membranes (PECMs) were prepared by combining sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (NaCMC) and gelatin (Ge) with variations in the Ge content in the NaCMC matrix. Characterization methods, such as infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), contact angle analysis (CA), and universal testing machines (UTM) were used to investigate the physicochemical studies of the prepared membranes. The pervaporation characteristics of membranes with Ge content were investigated using an azeotropic mixture of water and bioethanol. The obtained data revealed that the membrane with 15 mass% of Ge (M-3) showed a maximum flux of 7.8403 × 10−2 kg/m2·h with separation selectivity of 2917 at 30 °C. In particular, the total and water flux of PECMs are shown as very close to each other indicating that the fabricated membranes could be employed to successfully break the azeotropic point of water–bioethanol mixtures. Using temperature-dependent permeation and diffusion data, the Arrhenius activation parameters were calculated, and the obtained values of water permeation (Epw) were considerably smaller than bioethanol permeation (EpE). Developed membranes showed the positive heat of sorption (ΔHs), suggesting that Henry’s sorption mode is predominant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Novel Membranes for Energy Harvesting and Pollution Control)
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

18 pages, 3209 KiB  
Article
CO2 Plasticization Resistance Membrane for Natural Gas Sweetening Process: Defining Optimum Operating Conditions for Stable Operation
Polymers 2022, 14(21), 4537; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14214537 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1331
Abstract
Membranes with a stable performance during the natural gas sweetening process application are highly demanded. This subject has been immensely explored due to several challenges faced by conventionally used polymeric membranes, especially the high tendency of plasticization and physical aging. In this study, [...] Read more.
Membranes with a stable performance during the natural gas sweetening process application are highly demanded. This subject has been immensely explored due to several challenges faced by conventionally used polymeric membranes, especially the high tendency of plasticization and physical aging. In this study, polysulfone (PSf) hollow-fiber membrane was formulated and tested for its application in natural gas sweetening based on several compositions of CO2/CH4 mixed gas. The effects of operating conditions such as pressure, temperature and CO2 feed composition on separation performance were analyzed. The findings showed that the formulated membrane exhibited decreasing CO2 permeation trend with the increase in pressure. Conversely, the increase in operating temperature boosted the CO2 permeation. High productivity can be attained at higher operating temperatures with a reduction in product purity. Interestingly, since PSf has higher plasticization pressure, it was not affected by the change in CO2 percentage up to 70% CO2. The experimental study showed that the membrane material formulated in this study can be potentially evaluated at the field stage. Longer testing duration is needed with the real feed gas, appropriate pre-treatment based on the material limitations, and optimum operating conditions at the site to further confirm the membrane’s long-term lifetime, resistance, and stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Novel Membranes for Energy Harvesting and Pollution Control)
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

21 pages, 26885 KiB  
Review
Graphene-Based Membranes for Water Desalination: A Literature Review and Content Analysis
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 4246; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14194246 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2752
Abstract
Graphene-based membranes have unique nanochannels and can offer advantageous properties for the water desalination process. Although tremendous efforts have been devoted to heightening membrane performance and broadening their application, there is still lack of a systematic literature review on the development and future [...] Read more.
Graphene-based membranes have unique nanochannels and can offer advantageous properties for the water desalination process. Although tremendous efforts have been devoted to heightening membrane performance and broadening their application, there is still lack of a systematic literature review on the development and future directions of graphene-based membranes for desalination. In this mini-review, literature published between 2011 and 2022 were analyzed by using the bibliometric method. We found that the major contributors to these publications and the highest citations were from China and the USA. Nearly 80% of author keywords in this analysis were used less than twice, showing the broad interest and great dispersion in this field. The recent advances, remaining gaps, and strategies for future research, were discussed. The development of new multifunctional nanocomposite materials, heat-driven/solar-driven seawater desalination, and large-scale industrial applications, will be important research directions in the future. This literature analysis summarized the recent development of the graphene-based membranes for desalination application, and will be useful for researchers in gaining new insights into this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Novel Membranes for Energy Harvesting and Pollution Control)
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop