Role and Characterization of Nano-Based Membranes for Environmental Applications

  • Oluranti Agboola
  • Rotimi Sadiku
  • Patricia Popoola
  • Samuel Eshorame Sanni
  • Peter Adeniyi Alaba
  • Daniel Temitayo Oyekunle
  • Victoria Oluwaseun Fasiku
  • Mukuna Patrick Mubiayi
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 42)


Environmental issues emerge as a result of the harmful effects of human activities from different points of sources on biophysical environment. Lots of environmental damages can be rectified. The prevention of further damage can be achieved through the utilization of membrane separation processes. The utilization of membrane separation process to combat environmental pollution illustrates the application of membrane materials to effectively prevent environmental pollution in a sustainable manner. Nano-based membranes usually fabricated from organic polymer-based nanocomposites have proven to be promising membrane separation technology for environmental issues. In this report, we reviewed the role and characterizations of nano-based membranes for environmental applications. Thus, the major points are, firstly, factors influencing nano-based membranes performance and, secondly, important characterization techniques commonly used in characterizing the surface of membranes fabricated with the incorporation of nanomaterials. Thirdly, we reviewed the models used in characterizing the transport properties across nano-based membranes since these properties are principally controlled by the surface layer, thickness, porosity, and pore size. Finally, the environmental applications of nano-based membranes are reviewed.


Nano-based membranes Gas separation Desalination Solid pollution Air pollution Solution diffusion model Extended Nernst–Planck model Pathogens Transport properties membrane self-cleaning 





Permeate volume


Reverse osmosis


Percentage rejection


Scanning electron microscopy




Atomic force microscopy

Ci, m 

Bulk feed concentration


Carbon nanotube

Ci, p

Permeate concentration


Dielectric exclusion


Valence of ion (i)


Donnan–steric partitioning pore model

Di, p

Hindered diffusivity (m2/s)


Transmission electron microscope


Solid–vapor interfacial energy


X-ray powder diffractometer


Solid–liquid interfacial energy


Preferential sorption/capillary flow


Liquid–vapor interfacial energy


Fourier-transform infrared


Equilibrium contact angle


Absolute temperature (K)

Ki, c

Convection hindrance factor


Concentration of ions in the membrane (mol/m3)


Faraday constant (C/mol)


Equilibrium partition coefficient


Electrical potential (V)


Universal gas constant (J/mol.K)


Diffusion coefficient


Total molar concentration


Membrane thickness


Solute distribution coefficient


Aminated polyacrylonitrile


Multi-walled carbon nanotubes


Effective charge density


Pore radius


Electronic charge


Dielectric constant of the bulk


yttrium-stabilized zirconia


Dielectric constant of the membrane material


Graphene oxide


Dielectric constant inside the pores


ceramic membranes


Donnan–steric partitioning pore model with dielectric exclusion


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oluranti Agboola
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rotimi Sadiku
    • 2
  • Patricia Popoola
    • 3
  • Samuel Eshorame Sanni
    • 1
  • Peter Adeniyi Alaba
    • 2
  • Daniel Temitayo Oyekunle
    • 1
  • Victoria Oluwaseun Fasiku
    • 3
  • Mukuna Patrick Mubiayi
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringCovenant UniversityOtaNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Chemical, Metallurgical and Materials EngineeringTshwane University of TechnologyPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical Engineering ScienceUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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