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Membranes, Volume 8, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessReview Biomimetic Membranes as a Technology Platform: Challenges and Opportunities
Membranes 2018, 8(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8030044 (registering DOI)
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
Biomimetic membranes are attracting increased attention due to the huge potential of using biological functional components and processes as an inspirational basis for technology development. Indeed, this has led to several new membrane designs and applications. However, there are still a number of
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Biomimetic membranes are attracting increased attention due to the huge potential of using biological functional components and processes as an inspirational basis for technology development. Indeed, this has led to several new membrane designs and applications. However, there are still a number of issues which need attention. Here, I will discuss three examples of biomimetic membrane developments within the areas of water treatment, energy conversion, and biomedicine with a focus on challenges and applicability. While the water treatment area has witnessed some progress in developing biomimetic membranes of which some are now commercially available, other areas are still far from being translated into technology. For energy conversion, there has been much focus on using bacteriorhodopsin proteins, but energy densities have so far not reached sufficient levels to be competitive with state-of-the-art photovoltaic cells. For biomedical (e.g., drug delivery) applications the research focus has been on the mechanism of action, and much less on the delivery ‘per se’. Thus, in order for these areas to move forward, we need to address some hard questions: is bacteriorhodopsin really the optimal light harvester to be used in energy conversion? And how do we ensure that biomedical nano-carriers covered with biomimetic membrane material ever reach their target cells/tissue in sufficient quantities? In addition to these area-specific questions the general issue of production cost and scalability must also be treated in order to ensure efficient translation of biomimetic membrane concepts into reality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Single Gas Permeance Performance of High Silica SSZ-13 Zeolite Membranes
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
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Abstract
Continuous and high silica SSZ-13 zeolite membranes were prepared on porous mullite supports from high SiO2/Al2O3 ratio or aluminum-free precursor synthesis gel. Single gas permeance (CO2 and CH4) of the high silica SSZ-13 zeolite membrane
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Continuous and high silica SSZ-13 zeolite membranes were prepared on porous mullite supports from high SiO2/Al2O3 ratio or aluminum-free precursor synthesis gel. Single gas permeance (CO2 and CH4) of the high silica SSZ-13 zeolite membrane was decreased with the SiO2/Al2O3 ratio in the precursor synthesis gel, while the ideal CO2/CH4 selectivity of the membrane was gradually increased. Moreover, effects of synthesis conditions (such as H2O/SiO2 and RNOH/SiO2 ratios of precursor synthesis gel, crystallization time) on the single gas permeance performance of high silica SSZ-13 zeolite membranes were studied in detail. Medium H2O/SiO2 and RNOH/SiO2 ratios in the initial synthesis gel were crucial to prepare the good CO2 perm-selective SSZ-13 zeolite membrane. When the molar composition of precursor synthesis gel, crystallization temperature and time were 1.0 SiO2: 0.1 Na2O: 0.1 TMAdaOH: 80 H2O, 160 °C and 48 h, CO2 permeance and ideal CO2/CH4 selectivity of the SSZ-13 zeolite membrane were 0.98 × 10−7 mol/(m2·s·Pa) and 47 at 25 °C and 0.4 MPa. In addition, the SiO2/Al2O3 ratio of the corresponding SSZ-13 zeolite was 410 by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zeolitic Membranes: Advances and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Performance of PES/LSMM-OGCN Photocatalytic Membrane for Phenol Removal: Effect of OGCN Loading
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
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Abstract
In designing a photocatalytic oxidation system, the immobilized photocatalyst technique becomes highly profitable due to its promising capability in treating organic pollutants such as phenols in wastewater. In this study, hydrophiLic surface modifying macromolecules (LSMM) modified polyethersulfone (PES) hybrid photocatalytic membranes incorporated with
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In designing a photocatalytic oxidation system, the immobilized photocatalyst technique becomes highly profitable due to its promising capability in treating organic pollutants such as phenols in wastewater. In this study, hydrophiLic surface modifying macromolecules (LSMM) modified polyethersulfone (PES) hybrid photocatalytic membranes incorporated with oxygenated graphitic carbon nitride (OGCN) was successfully developed using phase inversion technique. The effectiveness of the hybrid photocatalytic membrane was determined under different loading of OGCN photocatalyst (0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 wt%). The best amount of OGCN in the casting solution was 1.0 wt% as the agglomeration did not occur considering the stability of the membrane performance and morphology. The highest flux of 264 L/m2·h was achieved by PES/LSMM-OGCN1.5wt% membrane. However, the highest flux performance was not an advantage in this situation as the flux reduced the rejection value due to open pores. The membrane with the highest photocatalytic performance was obtained at 1.0 wt% of OGCN loading with 35.78% phenol degradation after 6 h. Regardless of the lower rejection value, the performance shown by the PES/LSMM-OGCN1.0wt% membrane was still competent because of the small difference of less than 1% to that of the PES/LSMM-OGCN0wt% membrane. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that the optimisation of the OGCN loading in the PES hybrid photocatalytic membrane indeed plays an important role towards enhancing the catalyst distribution, phenol degradation, and acceptable rejection above all considerations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ionic Liquid-Based Electrolyte Membranes for Medium-High Temperature Lithium Polymer Batteries
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
Li+-conducting polyethylene oxide-based membranes incorporating N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide are used as electrolyte separators for all-solid-state lithium polymer batteries operating at medium-high temperatures. The incorporation of the ionic liquid remarkably improves the thermal, ion-transport and interfacial properties of the polymer
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Li+-conducting polyethylene oxide-based membranes incorporating N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide are used as electrolyte separators for all-solid-state lithium polymer batteries operating at medium-high temperatures. The incorporation of the ionic liquid remarkably improves the thermal, ion-transport and interfacial properties of the polymer electrolyte, which, in combination with the wide electrochemical stability even at medium-high temperatures, allows high current rates without any appreciable lithium anode degradation. Battery tests carried out at 80 °C have shown excellent cycling performance and capacity retention, even at high rates, which are never tackled by ionic liquid-free polymer electrolytes. No dendrite growth onto the lithium metal anode was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Lithium Batteries)
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Open AccessArticle Separation of Organic Compounds from ABE Model Solutions via Pervaporation Using Activated Carbon/PDMS Mixed Matrix Membranes
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
The pervaporation separation of organic compounds from acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation model solutions was studied using activated carbon (AC) nanoparticle-poly (dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) mixed matrix membranes (MMM). The effects of the operating conditions and nanoparticle loading content on the membrane performance have been investigated. While
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The pervaporation separation of organic compounds from acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation model solutions was studied using activated carbon (AC) nanoparticle-poly (dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) mixed matrix membranes (MMM). The effects of the operating conditions and nanoparticle loading content on the membrane performance have been investigated. While the separation factor increased continuously, with an increase in the concentration of nanoparticles, the total flux reached a maximum in the MMM with 8 wt % nanoparticle loading in PDMS. Both the separation factor for ABE and the total permeation flux more than doubled for the MMM in comparison to those of neat PDMS membranes prepared in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposite Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Concentration and Temperature Effects on Water and Salt Permeabilities in Osmosis and Implications in Pressure-Retarded Osmosis
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 8 July 2018
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Abstract
Osmotic power extracted from the mixing of freshwater with seawater is a renewable energy resource that has gained increasing attention during recent years. The estimated energy can significantly contribute to the production of power worldwide. However, this power production will be subject to
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Osmotic power extracted from the mixing of freshwater with seawater is a renewable energy resource that has gained increasing attention during recent years. The estimated energy can significantly contribute to the production of power worldwide. However, this power production will be subject to variation due to both local conditions and seasonal variation. The present paper explores the effect of concentration and temperature on water and salt fluxes in osmosis at zero transmembrane pressure for five different membranes. Further, the measured fluxes have been utilized to model water and salt permeabilities (A and B), and the structure parameter (S). The observed flux variations at different combinations of concentration and temperature have been ascribed to skin properties, i.e., changes in A and B of each membrane, whereas S was assumed constant within the range of concentrations and temperatures that were tested. Simplified equations for the variation in A and B with temperature and concentration have been developed, which enable A and B to be calculated at any concentration and temperature based on permeabilities determined from osmotic experiments at standard test conditions. The equations can be used to predict fluxes and specific power production with respect to geographical and seasonal variations in concentration and temperature for river water/seawater pressure-retarded osmosis. The obtained results are also useful for forward osmosis processes using seawater as draw solution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Texas Sour Orange Juice Used in Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 23 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
Fine fibers of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a biopolymer, were developed via a centrifugal spinning technique. The developed fibers have an average diameter of 1.8 µm. Texas sour orange juice (SOJ) was applied as a natural antibacterial agent and infiltrated within the fibrous membranes. The
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Fine fibers of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a biopolymer, were developed via a centrifugal spinning technique. The developed fibers have an average diameter of 1.8 µm. Texas sour orange juice (SOJ) was applied as a natural antibacterial agent and infiltrated within the fibrous membranes. The antibacterial activity against common Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, respectively) was evaluated as well as cell adhesion and viability. The PHB/SOJ scaffolds showed antibacterial activity of up to 152% and 71% against S. aureus and E. coli, respectively. The cell studies revealed a suitable environment for cell growth and cell attachment. The outcome of this study opens up new opportunities for fabrication of fibrous materials for biomedical applications having multifunctional properties while using natural agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofiber Membranes: Advances and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling Ionic Strength Effects on Hollow-Fiber Nanofiltration Membrane Mass Transfer
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 30 June 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
In this research, we investigated the influence of feedwater ionic strength on diffusion of divalent ions through a hollow-fiber nanofiltration membrane. The results indicated that solute flux of magnesium was increased as a result of elevating the ionic strength in the feedwater. Specifically,
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In this research, we investigated the influence of feedwater ionic strength on diffusion of divalent ions through a hollow-fiber nanofiltration membrane. The results indicated that solute flux of magnesium was increased as a result of elevating the ionic strength in the feedwater. Specifically, the feedwater ionic strength was observed to have a nonlinear impact on the diffusion of magnesium during the nanofiltration process, which was under-predicted by the homogeneous solution diffusion (HSD) model. This result suggested that elevating the feedwater ionic strength had reduced the strength of the electrostatic double layer at the membrane surface. We then developed a modification of the HSD model (referred to as the HSD-IS model) which incorporated an empirical term related to the effect of feedwater ionic strength (IS) on diffusion of magnesium. The root mean squared error of the HSD-IS model was improved by 77% as compared to the HSD model, which did not incorporate a term related to feedwater ionic strength. This improvement suggested that feedwater ionic strength should be considered when modeling hardness removal during nanofiltration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ionic Conductivity and Cycling Stability Improvement of PVDF/Nano-Clay Using PVP as Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for LiFePO4 Batteries
Received: 19 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 1 July 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we present the characteristics and performance of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) based on poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF). The membranes were prepared via a phase-inversion method (non-solvent-induced phase separation (NIPS)). As separators for lithium battery systems, additive modified montmorillonite (MMT) nano-clay served
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In this paper, we present the characteristics and performance of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) based on poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF). The membranes were prepared via a phase-inversion method (non-solvent-induced phase separation (NIPS)). As separators for lithium battery systems, additive modified montmorillonite (MMT) nano-clay served as a filler and poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) was used as a pore-forming agent. The membranes modified with an additive (8 wt % nano-clay and 7 wt % PVP) showed an increased porosity (87%) and an uptake of a large amount of electrolyte (801.69%), which generated a high level of ionic conductivity (5.61 mS cm−1) at room temperature. A graphite/PEMs/LiFePO4 coin cell CR2032 showed excellent stability in cycling performance (average discharge capacity 127 mA h g−1). Based on these results, PEMs are promising materials to be used in Polymer Electrolyte Membranes in lithium-ion batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Preparation and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Vapor Deposition of Photocatalyst Nanoparticles on PVDF Membranes for Advanced Oxidation Processes
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
The chemical binding of photocatalytic materials, such as TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles, onto porous polymer membranes requires a series of chemical reactions and long purification processes, which often result in small amounts of trapped nanoparticles with reduced photocatalytic activity. In this work,
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The chemical binding of photocatalytic materials, such as TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles, onto porous polymer membranes requires a series of chemical reactions and long purification processes, which often result in small amounts of trapped nanoparticles with reduced photocatalytic activity. In this work, a chemical vapor deposition technique was investigated in order to allow the nucleation and growth of ZnO and TiO2 nanoparticles onto polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) porous membranes for application in advanced oxidation processes. The thickness of obtained surface coatings by sputtered nanoparticles was found to depend on process conditions. The photocatalytic efficiency of sputtered membranes was tested against both a model drug and a model organic pollutant in a small continuous flow reactor. Full article
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