Bio-inspired super liquid-repellent membranes for membrane distillation: Mechanisms, fabrications and applications Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • With the aggravation of the global water crisis, membrane distillation (MD) for seawater desalination and hypersaline wastewater treatment is highlighted due to its low operating temperature, low hydrostatic pressure, and theoretically 100% rejection. However, some issues still impede the large-scale applications of MD technology, such as membrane fouling, scaling and unsatisfactory wetting resistance. Bio-inspired super liquid-repellent membranes have progressed rapidly in the past decades and been considered as one of the most promising approaches to overcome the above problems. This review for the first time systematically summarizes and analyzes the mechanisms of different super liquid-repellent surfaces, their preparation and modification methods, and anti-wetting/fouling/scaling performances in the MD process. Firstly, the topology theories of in-air superhydrophobic, in-air omniphobic and underwater superoleophobic surfaces are illustrated using different models. Secondly, the fabrication methods of various super liquid-repellent membranes are classified. The merits and demerits of each method are illustrated. Thirdly, the anti-wetting/fouling/scaling mechanisms of super liquid-repellent membranes are summarized. Finally, the conclusions and perspectives of the bio-inspired super liquid-repellent membranes are elaborated. It is anticipated that the systematic review herein can provide readers with foundational knowledge and current progress of super liquid-repellent membranes, and inspire researchers to overcome the challenges up ahead.

publication date

  • November 2021