Versatile Silver-Nanoparticle-Impregnated Membranes for Water Treatment: A Review


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Increased affordability, smaller footprint, and high permeability quality that meets stringent water quality standards have accelerated the uptake of membranes in water treatment. Moreover, low pressure, gravity-based microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) membranes eliminate the use of electricity and pumps. However, MF and UF processes remove contaminants by size exclusion, based on membrane pore size. This limits their application in the removal of smaller matter or even harmful microorganisms. There is a need to enhance the membrane properties to meet needs such as adequate disinfection, flux amelioration, and reduced membrane fouling. To achieve these, the incorporation of nanoparticles with unique properties in membranes has potential. Herein, we review recent developments in the impregnation of polymeric and ceramic microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes with silver nanoparticles that are applied in water treatment. We critically evaluated the potential of these membranes in enhanced antifouling, increased permeability quality and flux compared to uncoated membranes. Despite the intensive research in this area, most studies have been performed at laboratory scale for short periods of time. There is a need for studies that assess the long-term stability of the nanoparticles and the impact on disinfection and antifouling performance. These challenges are addressed in this study and future directions.
disinfection,flux,fouling,membranes,silver nanoparticles,water treatment
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