Can fouling in membranes be ever defeated?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Fouling continues to be a major problem in membrane technology when water is the separation medium. In this review, the recent advances in strategies for fouling minimization are summarized and critically discussed. Different grafting approaches for surface modification are highlighted, particularly those promoting the integration of zwitterionic building blocks in the membrane top layer. We compare layer-by-layer and other coating methods, and emerging technologies such as 3D printing for pattern development, laser-induced graphene formation and integration of other carbon-based materials to assist electrically driven processes of fouling mitigation. Finally, we emphasize the relevance of developing membranes with higher stability in chlorine, acid and base agents, since regular cleaning has been still mandatory to maintain the membrane performance in long periods of operation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Engineering
StatePublished - Apr 25 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The author acknowledges King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) as main sponsor of the research activities of the Nanostructured Polymer Lab.


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