Special Issue "Membrane Processes and Energy"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2012)
Prof. Dr. Eric Favre
Energy is one of the major challenges of the 21st century. On the one hand, the world energy demand is continuously increasing, while the availability of fossil fuel resources is expected to decrease; on the other hand, fossil fuel use leads to greenhouse gases emissions which have to be mitigated in order to prevent global warming. In that context, membrane processes can offer key advantages through a large variety of operations:
- In the traditional energy sector, uranium enrichment is often performed thanks to membranes and gas permeation for natural gas treatment is increasingly applied.
- Hydrogen, the potential energy vector of the future can be produced (e.g., by natural gas water reforming) and purified by membrane processes.
- In terms of energy production from renewable resources, novel membrane processes which do not make use of fossil resources are actively investigated: for instance, pressure retarded osmosis or reverse electro-dialysis could provide electrical energy through concentration differences between solutions which naturally occur on the planet.
- In terms of energy use, membrane separations are also often considered as one of the key technology for intensified and sustainable production processes, because they can often achieve a high energy efficiency. These characteristics explain the success of membranes for water desalination by reverse osmosis (in place of thermal processes such as evaporation), or fuel cells in the transportation sector (another promising technology which makes use of a membrane). New applications are also expected to emerge for the separation of liquid mixtures in the chemical process industries (nanofiltration, pervaporation) in place energy demanding thermal processes such as distillation.
This special issue intends to cover these different topics. Studies dedicated to theoretical aspects, or new experimental results which highlight one of the many facets of membrane processes in relationship with energy issues will be welcome.
Prof. Dr. Eric Favre
- reverse osmosis
- gas permeation
- water treatment
- hybrid processes