Reporting the unreported: the reliability and comparability of the literature on organic solvent nanofiltration

Hai Anh Le Phuong, Christopher F Blanford, Gyorgy Szekely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) is an energy-efficient separation technique that has the potential to improve environmental sustainability in many industrial sectors, including food processing, biorefineries, and in the production of pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and petrochemicals. Some issues, however, hinder the pace of development of this sustainable separation method that could ultimately provide green manufacturing strategies. These issues include lack of clear experimental designs, explicit experimental protocols, comparable performance data and long-term performance tests of membranes at industrially relevant solute concentrations in OSN studies. Here, we report on a survey of the OSN research community and on a critical assessment of 177 journal papers published from 2015 to 2019 to determine how the scientific value and industrial impact of OSN studies can be improved. Based on the results of our survey and literature analysis, we crafted a series of best-practice recommendations for researchers reporting data on membrane fabrication, membrane materials characterization and filtration performance, process integration and fundamental studies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGreen Chemistry
StatePublished - May 6 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors express their gratitude to the OSN2019 conference organizers for helping to distribute the survey on the conference website. The authors also thank everyone who completed the survey and shared their responses. Fruitful discussion with Mr. Levente Cseri from the University of Manchester is gratefully acknowledged. The authors acknowledge the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under grant code EP/N509565/1 for funding HALP’s doctoral studies through the University of Manchester’s doctoral training account administered by their Department of Materials. The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).


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