- Ultrathin Molecular-Layer-by-Layer Polyamide Membranes: Insights from Atomistic Molecular Simulations. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Phys Chem B 2016 Aug 25.
In this study, we present an atomistic simulation study of several physicochemical properties of polyamide (PA) membranes formed from interfacial polymerization or from a molecular-layer-by-layer (mLbL) on a silicon wafer. These membranes are composed of meta-phenylenediamine (MPD) and benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid chloride (TMC) for potential reverse osmosis (RO) applications. The mLbL membrane generation procedure and the force field models were validated, by comparison with available experimental data, for hydrated density, membrane swelling, and pore size distributions of PA membranes formed by interfacial polymerization. Physicochemical properties such as density, free volume, thickness, the degree of cross-linking, atomic compositions, and average molecular orientation (which is relevant for the mLbL membranes) are compared for these different processes. The mLbL membranes are investigated systematically with respect to TMC monomer growth rate per substrate surface area, MPD/TMC ratio, and the number of mLbL deposition cycles. Atomistic simulations show that the mLbL deposition generates membranes with a constant film growth if both the TMC monomer growth rate and MPD/TMC monomer ratio are kept constant. The film growth rate increases with TMC monomer growth rate or MPD/TMC ratio. Furthermore, it was found on one hand that the mLbL membrane density and free volume varies significantly with respect to the TMC monomer growth rate, while on the other hand the degree of cross-linking and the atomic composition varies considerably with the MPD/TMC ratio. Additionally, it was found that both TMC and MPD orient at a tilted angle with respect to the substrate surface, where their angular distribution and average angle orientation depend on both the TMC growth rate and the number of deposition cycles. This study illustrates that molecular simulations can play a crucial role in the understanding of structural properties that can empower the design of the next generation RO membranes created from molecular-layer-by-layer (mLbL) on a silicon wafer.
- Purification of High Salinity Brine by Multi-Stage Ion Concentration Polarization Desalination. [Journal Article]
- Sci Rep 2016.:31850.
There is an increasing need for the desalination of high concentration brine (>TDS 35,000 ppm) efficiently and economically, either for the treatment of produced water from shale gas/oil development, or minimizing the environmental impact of brine from existing desalination plants. Yet, reverse osmosis (RO), which is the most widely used for desalination currently, is not practical for brine desalination. This paper demonstrates technical and economic feasibility of ICP (Ion Concentration Polarization) electrical desalination for the high saline water treatment, by adopting multi-stage operation with better energy efficiency. Optimized multi-staging configurations, dependent on the brine salinity values, can be designed based on experimental and numerical analysis. Such an optimization aims at achieving not just the energy efficiency but also (membrane) area efficiency, lowering the true cost of brine treatment. ICP electrical desalination is shown here to treat brine salinity up to 100,000 ppm of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) with flexible salt rejection rate up to 70% which is promising in a various application treating brine waste. We also demonstrate that ICP desalination has advantage of removing both salts and diverse suspended solids simultaneously, and less susceptibility to membrane fouling/scaling, which is a significant challenge in the membrane processes.
- Betalain rich functional extract with reduced salts and nitrate content from red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) using membrane separation technology. [Journal Article]
- Food Chem 2017 Jan 15.:311-7.
An initial laboratory-scale evaluation of separation characteristics of membranes with nominal molecular weight cut-offs (NMWCO) ranging from 30kD down to 0.5kD indicated effective separation of betalains in the 0.5kD region. Subsequent pilot-level trials using 1kD, loose reverse osmosis (LRO) and reverse osmosis (RO) spiral-wound membranes showed LRO membrane to be very efficient with up to 96% salt and 47% other dissolved solids removed while retaining majority of the pigment (∼98%) in the betalain rich extract (BRE). The total betalain content in the BRE increased up to 46%, the highest recovery reported so far at pilot scale level. Interestingly, more than 95% of the nitrates were removed from the BRE after the three diafiltrations. These studies indicate that membrane technology is the most efficient technique to produce BRE with highly reduced amounts of salts and nitrate content.
- Reverse osmosis molecular differentiation of organic liquids using carbon molecular sieve membranes. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Science 2016 Aug 19; 353(6301):804-7.
Liquid-phase separations of similarly sized organic molecules using membranes is a major challenge for energy-intensive industrial separation processes. We created free-standing carbon molecular sieve membranes that translate the advantages of reverse osmosis for aqueous separations to the separation of organic liquids. Polymer precursors were cross-linked with a one-pot technique that protected the porous morphology of the membranes from thermally induced structural rearrangement during carbonization. Permeation studies using benzene derivatives whose kinetic diameters differ by less than an angstrom show kinetically selective organic liquid reverse osmosis. Ratios of single-component fluxes for para- and ortho-xylene exceeding 25 were observed and para- and ortho- liquid mixtures were efficiently separated, with an equimolar feed enriched to 81 mole % para-xylene, without phase change and at ambient temperature.
- Peritoneal Dialysis in Western Countries. [Journal Article, Review]
- Kidney Dis (Basel) 2015 Dec; 1(3):157-64.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) for the treatment of end-stage renal failure was introduced in the 1960s. Nowadays it has evolved to an established therapy that is complementary to hemodialysis (HD), representing 11% of all patients treated worldwide with dialysis. Despite good clinical outcomes and similar results in patient survival between PD and HD, the penetration of PD is decreasing in the Western world.First the major events in the history of the development of PD are described. Then important insights into the physiology of peritoneal transport are discussed and linked to the changes in time observed in biopsies of the peritoneal membrane. Furthermore, the developments in peritoneal access, more biocompatible dialysate solutions, automated PD at home, the establishment of parameters for dialysis adequacy and strategies to prevent infectious complications are mentioned. Finally non-medical issues responsible for the declining penetration in the Western world are analyzed.Only after introduction of the concept of continuous ambulatory PD by Moncrief and Popovich has this treatment evolved in time to a renal replacement therapy. Of all structures present in the peritoneal membrane, the capillary endothelium offers the rate-limiting hindrance for solute and water transport for the diffusive and convective transport of solutes and osmosis. The functional and anatomical changes in the peritoneal membrane in time can be monitored by the peritoneal equilibrium test. Peritonitis incidence decreased by introduction of the Y-set and prophylaxis using mupirocin on the exit site. The decrease in the proportion of patients treated with PD in the Western world can be explained by non-medical issues such as inadequate predialysis patient education, physician experience and training, ease of HD initiation, overcapacity of in-center HD, lack of adequate infrastructure for PD treatment, costs and reimbursement issues of the treatment.(1) PD is cheaper than HD and provides a better quality of life worldwide, but its prevalence is significantly lower than that of HD in all countries, with the exception of Hong Kong. Allowing reimbursement of PD but not HD has permitted to increase the use of PD over HD in many Asian countries like Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, as well as in New Zealand and Australia over the last years. In the Western world, however, HD is still promoted, and the proportion of patients treated with PD decreases. Japan remains an exception in Asia where PD penetration is very low. Lack of adequate education of practitioners and information of patients might as well be reasons for the low penetration of PD in both the East and West. (2) Patient survival of PD varies between and within countries but is globally similar to HD. (3) Peritonitis remains the main cause of morbidity in PD patients. South Asian countries face specific issues such as high tuberculosis and mycobacterial infections, which are rare in developed Asian and Western countries. The infection rate is affected by climatic and socio-economic factors and is higher in hot, humid and rural areas. (4) Nevertheless, the promotion of a PD-first policy might be beneficial particularly for remote populations in emerging countries where the end-stage renal disease rate is increasing dramatically.
- Utilization of the Donnan potential induced by reverse salt flux in pressure retarded osmosis systems. [Journal Article]
- Phys Chem Chem Phys 2016 Sep 14; 18(34):23469-73.
Pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) generates energy from salinity gradients. Reverse salt flux through a semi-permeable PRO membrane reduces the energy efficiency. We demonstrate for the first time the direct conversion of the reverse salt flux into electrochemical potential, recovering >7% positive net power using a single electrochemical PRO membrane.
- Fatty acid fouling of forward osmosis membrane: Effects of pH, calcium, membrane orientation, initial permeate flux and foulant composition. [Journal Article]
- J Environ Sci (China) 2016 Aug.:55-62.
Octanoic acid (OA) was selected to represent fatty acids in effluent organic matter (EOM). The effects of feed solution (FS) properties, membrane orientation and initial permeate flux on OA fouling in forward osmosis (FO) were investigated. The undissociated OA formed a cake layer quickly and caused the water flux to decline significantly in the initial 0.5hr at unadjusted pH3.56; while the fully dissociated OA behaved as an anionic surfactant and promoted the water permeation at an elevated pH of 9.00. Moreover, except at the initial stage, the sudden decline of water flux (meaning the occurrence of severe membrane fouling) occurred in two conditions: 1. 0.5mmol/L Ca(2+), active layer facing draw solution (AL-DS) and 1.5mol/L NaCl (DS); 2. No Ca(2+), active layer-facing FS (AL-FS) and 4mol/L NaCl (DS). This demonstrated that cake layer compaction or pore blocking occurred only when enough foulants were absorbed into the membrane surface, and the water permeation was high enough to compact the deposit inside the porous substrate. Furthermore, bovine serum albumin (BSA) was selected as a co-foulant. The water flux of both co-foulants was between the fluxes obtained separately for the two foulants at pH3.56, and larger than the two values at pH9.00. This manifested that, at pH3.56, BSA alleviated the effect of the cake layer caused by OA, and OA enhanced BSA fouling simultaneously; while at pH9.00, the mutual effects of OA and BSA eased the membrane fouling.
- Dynamic modelling of a forward osmosis-nanofiltration integrated process for treating hazardous wastewater. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2016 Aug 12.
Dynamic modelling and simulation of a nanofiltration-forward osmosis integrated complete system was done along with economic evaluation to pave the way for scale up of such a system for treating hazardous pharmaceutical wastes. The system operated in a closed loop not only protects surface water from the onslaught of hazardous industrial wastewater but also saves on cost of fresh water by turning wastewater recyclable at affordable price. The success of dynamic modelling in capturing the relevant transport phenomena is well reflected in high overall correlation coefficient value (R (2) > 0.98), low relative error (<0.1) and Willmott d-index (<0.95). The system could remove more than 97.5 % chemical oxygen demand (COD) from real pharmaceutical wastewater having initial COD value as high as 3500 mg/L while ensuring operation of the forward osmosis loop at a reasonably high flux of 56-58 l per square meter per hour.
- Advanced oxidative processes and membrane separation for micropollutant removal from biotreated domestic wastewater. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2016 Aug 10.
The presence of micropollutants in sewage is already widely known, as well as the effects caused by natural and synthetic hormones. Thus, it is necessary to apply treatments to remove them from water systems, such as advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) and membrane separation processes, which can oxidize and remove high concentrations of organic compounds. This work investigated the removal of 17β-estradiol (E2), 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), and estriol (E3) from biotreated sewage. Reverse osmosis processes were conducted at three recoveries (50, 60, and 70 %). For E2 and EE2, the removals were affected by the recovery. The best results for RO were as follows: the E2 compound removal was 89 % for 60 % recovery and the EE2 compound removal was 57 % for 50 % recovery. The RO recovery did not impact the E3 removal. It was concluded that the interaction between the evaluated estrogens, and the membrane was the major factor for the hormone separation. The AOP treatment using H2O2/UV was carried out in two sampling campaigns. First, we evaluated the variation of UV doses (24.48, 73.44, 122.4, and 244.8 kJ m(-2)) with 18.8 mg L(-1) of H2O2 in the reaction. EE2 showed considerable removals (around 70 %). In order to optimize the results, an experimental design was applied. The best result was obtained with higher UV dose (122.4 kJ m(-2)) and lower H2O2 concentration (4 mg L(-1)), achieving removal of 91 % for E3 and 100 % for E2 and EE2.
- Data on daily fluoride intake based on drinking water consumption prepared by household desalinators working by reverse osmosis process. [Journal Article]
- Data Brief 2016 Sep.:867-70.
In this data article, we evaluated the daily fluoride contents in 20 household desalinators working by reverse osmosis (RO) process in Bushehr, Iran. The concentration levels of fluoride in inlet and outlet waters were determined by the standard SPADNS method using a spectrophotometer (M501 Single Beam Scanning UV/VIS, UK). The fluoride content in outlet waters were compared with EPA and WHO guidelines for drinking water.