New research trends: Surface modification of spacers

Another our research work just recently featured in Membrane Technology, Volume 2016, Issue 4, April 2016, Pages 10-11.

In the Research Trends section, our article entitled Hydrogel-coated feed spacers in two-phase flow cleaning in spiral wound membrane elements: a novel platform for eco-friendly biofouling mitigation, is selected as new research trend in membrane technology research. This paper has recently published in a prestigious journal of Water Research.

Membrane Technology is published monthly by Elsevier and brings the reader everything they need to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the international membrane industry, highlighting emerging markets, summarising important industry news and identifying new business opportunities for their company.
Each issue includes:
• Technology news - all the latest developments including processes projects, contracts, systems, new products, testing facilities, etc.
• Business news - key information on your competitors' movements in the market
• Feature articles - experts share the secrets of their own success
• Patents - the latest new patents from around the world
• Research trends - highlights of recently published research work
• Events' calendar - comprehensive listing of all the international conferences and exhibitions
Membrane Technology covers the following areas: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food and beverage, Brewing and wine, drinking water treatment, desalination, sewage treatment, oil and gas, mineral extraction, power generation, pulp and paper, and electronics.

*** April 2016 ***

Wetsus S&T Newsletter: The science of bubbles leads to cleaner water purification membranes

Our works just recently featured in Wetsus Science&Technology Newsletter, Spring Edition 2015. This newsletter has a readership of about 6000 scientists and technologist worldwide.

As mentioned by Bert Hamelers, Program Director at Wetsus, the key element of the success of Wetsus is its people. He said: "Good facilities are a prerequisite for good science, but the facilities are purely a necessary tool. The crucial element of the success of Wetsus is the group of people performing science. At the heart of this group are the PhD researchers, young people who have taken the bold choice to pursue science as the start of their career. It is their dedication and creativity that pushes our research forward".

And we proud to be part of this young people.

This newsletter stated about our research within the article entitled "The science of bubbles leads to cleaner water purification membranes", writen by Lisa Zyga, IL, USA. 

Lisa wrote that membrane processes, such as nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO), are commonly used for the production of our drinking water. But when the membranes used in these processes become clogged with microorganisms and various organic and inorganic material, these cleaning devices themselves need cleaning. In the latest research on membrane cleaning, Dr. Yusuf Wibisono, along with his PhD advisor Professor Kitty Nijmeijer at the University of Twente, and their coauthors have published two research papers and a review that demonstrate the effectiveness of physical techniques based on the use of air bubbles in removing fouling from membranes.
Dr. Yusuf Wibisono, together with Prof. Nijmeijer and Dr. Kemperman, holding his PhD degree for his thesis on two-phase flow
Dr. Yusuf Wibisono, together with Prof. Nijmeijer and Dr. Kemperman, holding his PhD degree for his thesis on two-phase flow
In their review, published in the Journal of Membrane Science, the scientists systematically analyzed the results of 195 papers published since 1989 that investigated the effectiveness of two-phase flow cleaning in membrane processes. Two-phase flow, which refers to the use of a gas and a liquid flowing in either the same or opposite directions, has an advantage over single-phase (liquid only) flow in that it creates instabilities within the flow. The instabilities sweep away fouling from membrane surfaces or feed spacers in spiral-wound membrane elements. The effectiveness of the gas bubbles on cleaning depends on many variables, such as gas flow rate, liquid flow rate, temperature, bubble-bubble interactions, bubble-particle interactions, and more. The scientists wanted to determine which conditions are optimal for membrane cleaning.

“We put all this data in a graph so that we could compare it and extract information that can be used to guide future research,” Nijmeijer said. “We showed which parameters are critical and determined the effectiveness of this cleaning method. For instance, we found that there are two conditions that are very important to be effective: good bubble distribution and the gas/liquid ratio, both important to obtain sufficient wall shear stress to create friction on the membrane surface. Because we did the review, we were able to identify the important parameters.”

The review is currently one of the top 10 most downloaded papers in the journal.

Using insight from the review, the researchers published another paper in the Journal of Membrane Science in which they experimentally demonstrated the effectiveness of optimizing bubble distribution and liquid velocity. The paper also accounted for effects such as the gas/liquid ratio, feed spacer geometry, and applied pressure on the efficiency of two-phase flow cleaning.

In their third paper, published in Water Research, the scientists expanded upon these results further, looking at how to make the technology even more effective. They demonstrated that hydrogel-coated polypropylene feed spacers can complement the two-phase flow method by preventing early attachment of biofilms, which is likely due to the strong hydrophilic nature and the negative charge of the hydrogel coating. Preventing early attachment is a key strategy in delaying biofilm growth over time.
Read more about the article here:
***April 2015***

OCT News: Non-medical application of OCT in our paper

Hydrogel article featured in OCT News


Our recent paper entitled Hydrogel-coated feed spacers in two-phase flow cleaning in spiral wound membrane elements: A novel platform for eco-friendly biofouling mitigation (doi:10.1016/j.watres.2014.12.030) has been featured in OCT News.

***Jan 2015***

A very accurate and exhaustive paper 

Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering Journal

Our paper entitled Two-phase flow in membrane processes: A technology with a future ( has been featured and highlighted in the journal article by Reverberi et al. (2014) entitled Membrane processes for water recovery and decontamination published in Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering (doi:10.1016/j.coche.2014.10.004).  

Our paper has been highlighted as of special interest and has been described as: 
"A very accurate and exhaustive paper presenting the state-of-the-art concerning the beneficial effects of a two-phase flow (gas–liquid) in membrane processes. This  paper allows to identify key factors for the application of such a method in aqueous separation and purification processes."

Two-phase flow cleaning technology itself has been considered by Reverberi et al. (2014)  as: "a very promising technique and a challenging research topic."

As mentioned in  the journal homepage, Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering is devoted to bringing forth short and focused review articles written by experts on current advances in different areas of chemical engineering. The goals of each review article in the journal are: 

1. To acquaint the reader/researcher with the most important recent papers in the given topic. 

2. To provide the reader with the views/opinions of the expert in each topic. 

***Jan 2015***