Copper-Modified Polymeric Membranes for Water Treatment: A Comprehensive Review

Garcia, Andreina; Rodriguez, Barbara; Giraldo, Hugo; Quintero, Yurieth; Quezada, Rodrigo; Hassan, Natalia; Estay, Humberto.

Abstract

In the last decades, the incorporation of copper in polymeric membranes for water treatment has received greater attention, as an innovative potential solution against biofouling formation on membranes, as well as, by its ability to improve other relevant membrane properties. Copper has attractive characteristics: excellent antimicrobial activity, high natural abundance, low cost and the existence of multiple cost-effective synthesis routes for obtaining copper-based materials with tunable characteristics, which favor their incorporation into polymeric membranes. This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the progress made in the area regarding modified membranes for water treatment when incorporating copper. The notable use of copper materials (metallic and oxide nanoparticles, salts, composites, metal-polymer complexes, coordination polymers) for modifying microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), forward osmosis (FO) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have been identified. Antibacterial and anti-fouling effect, hydrophilicity increase, improvements of the water flux, the rejection of compounds capacity and structural membrane parameters and the reduction of concentration polarization phenomena are some outstanding properties that improved. Moreover, the study acknowledges different membrane modification approaches to incorporate copper, such as, the incorporation during the membrane synthesis process (immobilization in polymer and phase inversion) or its surface modification using physical (coating, layer by layer assembly and electrospinning) and chemical (grafting, one-pot chelating, co-deposition and mussel-inspired PDA) surface modification techniques. Thus, the advantages and limitations of these modifications and their methods with insights towards a possible industrial applicability are presented. Furthermore, when copper was incorporated into membrane matrices, the study identified relevant detrimental consequences with potential to be solved, such as formation of defects, pore block, and nanoparticles agglomeration during their fabrication. Among others, the low modification stability, the uncontrolled copper ion releasing or leaching of incorporated copper material are also identified concerns. Thus, this article offers modification strategies that allow an effective copper incorporation on these polymeric membranes and solve these hinders. The article finishes with some claims about scaling up the implementation process, including long-term performance under real conditions, feasibility of production at large scale, and assessment of environmental impact.

Más información

Título según WOS: Copper-Modified Polymeric Membranes for Water Treatment: A Comprehensive Review
Título de la Revista: MEMBRANES
Volumen: 11
Número: 2
Editorial: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Fecha de publicación: 2021
DOI:

10.3390/MEMBRANES11020093

Notas: ISI