Review of nanomaterials-assisted ion exchange membranes for electromembrane desalination

This review reports on the advances in nanomaterials incorporated ion exchange membranes applicable to desalination

Adetunji Alabi; Ahmed AlHajaj; Levente Cseri; Gyorgy Szekely; Peter Budd; Linda Zou


Scholarcy highlights

  • Ion exchange membranes have attracted much interest from the academic and industrial fields, due to their potential applications in electromembrane processes which include: water purification, e.g., desalination by electrodialysis, desalination by membrane capacitive deionization, and diffusion dialysis; energy production, e.g., as fuel cells, and reverse electrodialysis; energy storage e.g., flow batteries; and the chlor-alkali process
  • OF INCORPORATING NANOMATERIALS INTO ION EXCHANGE MEMBRANES Solution blending The method of solution blending is based on the solubility of the precursors e.g., silica and TiO2, as such its applicability is limited to a few NMs
  • The nanocomposite NMs content specified in each row reflects that for which the best overall results were obtained cIon exchange resins were added to provide ion exchange functional groups dMembrane potential, transport number, permselectivity, ionic permeability, and ionic flux were assessed in NaCl solution eThe application that the nanocomposite IEMs in this work was considered for is electrodialysis
  • The incorporation of polybenzimidazole functionalized silica nanoparticles into polybenzimidazole based cation exchange membranes resulted in superior thermal stability, mechanical strength, and ionic conductivity when compared to the virgin polybenzimidazole membrane
  • Studies conducted on the inclusion of TiO2 nanoparticles into quaternized polysulfone anion exchange membranes noted increments in the ionic conductivity
  • Out of the 65 nanocomposite IEMs described in Tables 3–6, 53 of them were CEMs and 12 of them were AEMs
  • Zeolite NPs possess high ion exchange capacity and chemical stability, which make them suitable candidates for water treatment applications. Zeolite NPs were utilized in polyvinyl chloride based nanocomposite cation exchange membranes fabricated for the purpose of ED research. The experimental results demonstrated improvements in membrane water content, membrane potential, transport number, permselectivity, ionic permeability, ionic flux, and ionic conductivity for the modified CEMs in contrast to the virgin PVC CEMs. The improvements could be attributed to enhanced ionic transport properties that created more conducting regions in the membrane and promoted the ion transport between the solution and the membrane

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