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Materials & Process Engineering, UCLouvain, Place Sainte Barbe 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F-Bus 02423, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium

New Advances in Membrane Technology and Its Contribution to Sustainability

Abstract submission deadline
25 December 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
25 February 2025
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, humanity is facing diverse challenges that seem to question the way in which we are living: global warming, water pollution and water scarcity, resource depletion, social inequalities, loss of biodiversity, etc. Those challenges have been grouped according to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. They are an urgent call for action in a global partnership, recognizing that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth—all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests (UN, 2015).

In this context, the development of technological alternatives to current processes must consider the SDGs as part of the key objectives. Membrane technology has an enormous potential for providing solutions in the same line as the SDGs, given the fact that it normally involves lower energy consumption that current alternatives or less use of resources. But is this real? Can we prove that membranes are really a better solution? Have we thought of aspects such as the environmental impact of membrane manufacture, their carbon and water footprint during their operation, or their end of life (membrane waste)? And what about their further large-scale application? Why are many membrane processes failing during scaling-up? As membranologists, we need an overall understanding and overview of the implications of developing new membranes and new membrane processes. Only in this way will we be able to provide real solutions to the big challenges that we are facing.

Thus, in this Topic, we aim at showing the potential contribution of membrane technology to the SDGs, or, in other words, the advances in SDGs that can be made thanks to membranes. Prof. Bart Van der Bruggen Prof. Patricia Luis Alconero Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Patricia Luis Alconero
Prof. Dr. Bart Van der Bruggen
Topic Editors


  • membranes
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • water
  • energy
  • innovation
  • industry
  • life cycle assessment

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Applied Sciences
2.7 5.3 2011 16.9 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Clean Technologies
3.8 6.1 2019 26.6 Days CHF 1600 Submit
3.2 6.2 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600 Submit
4.2 6.1 2011 13.6 Days CHF 2700 Submit
5.0 8.0 2009 13.7 Days CHF 2700 Submit
3.9 6.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400 Submit
3.4 5.8 2009 16.5 Days CHF 2600 Submit is a multidiscipline platform providing preprint service that is dedicated to sharing your research from the start and empowering your research journey.

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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17 pages, 7564 KiB  
Lignin Purification from Mild Alkaline Sugarcane Extract via Membrane Filtration
by Nga Thi-Thanh Pham, Nicolas Beaufils, Jérôme Peydecastaing, Philippe Behra and Pierre-Yves Pontalier
Clean Technol. 2024, 6(2), 750-766; (registering DOI) - 12 Jun 2024
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In this study, the separation of lignin from a mild alkaline sugarcane bagasse extract was studied, and the impacts of different parameters on the filtration performance were evaluated. The tested parameters included transmembrane pressure (0.5–3.0 bar), shear rates (2831–22,696 s−1), temperature [...] Read more.
In this study, the separation of lignin from a mild alkaline sugarcane bagasse extract was studied, and the impacts of different parameters on the filtration performance were evaluated. The tested parameters included transmembrane pressure (0.5–3.0 bar), shear rates (2831–22,696 s−1), temperature (20 and 40 °C), membrane molecular weight cut-off (5 and 10 kDa), and membrane material (polyethersulfone and polysulfone). During the filtration process, the permeate flux and all the main components of the extract were analyzed, including lignins (acid insoluble lignin and acid soluble lignin), sugars (xylose, arabinose, glucose, and galactose), total phenolic compounds, and phenolic acids (p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, vanillin, and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde). It was proved that the tested conditions had a great impact on the permeate flux and molecule retention rate. Increasing the temperature from 20 to 40 °C resulted in a much higher permeate flux for the 5 kDa PES membrane, and the impact of shear rate was greater at 40 °C for this membrane. Although the 5 kDa PES membrane could retain slightly more large molecules, i.e., acid-insoluble lignin and xylose, the 10 kDa membrane afforded greater phenolic acid removal capacity, leading to higher purity. For the 10 kDa PS membrane, the polarization layer began to form at TMP below 0.5 bar. This membrane had a lower retention rate for all molecules than the 10 kDa PES membrane. Full article
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