Ceramic membrane technology for water and wastewater treatment: A critical review of performance, full-scale applications, membrane fouling and prospects

Muhammad Bilal Asif, Zhenghua Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations

Abstract

Application of ceramic membrane technology in water and wastewater is rapidly growing. Inherent advantages of ceramic membrane including chemical/thermal stability, low fouling propensity and long lifespan make ceramic membrane technology attractive, and the ceramic membrane market is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 12%. Ceramic membranes could be integrated with advanced oxidation processes such as in-situ ozonation that cannot be applied in the case of polymeric membrane due to their potential degradation during long-term exposure. In addition, the hybrid-ceramic membrane processes such as ceramic membrane bioreactor are superior to polymeric counterparts due to higher flux, higher pollutant removal, lower fouling rate and higher cleaning efficiency. Although ceramic membrane has high capital cost, life-cycle costs of ceramic and polymeric plants are comparable. Notably, full-scale ceramic membrane water/wastewater treatment plants have been installed in many countries such as Japan, USA, Singapore and United Kingdom. Given the attractiveness of this technology, performance of ceramic membrane is critically reviewed with a focus on their applications in water and wastewater treatment under mild conditions. In addition, fouling mechanisms and control strategies are elucidated and are compared with polymeric membranes. Importantly, for the first time, the status of full-scale applications and market prospects of ceramic membranes are critically analysed to show their future potential. Lastly, future research directions such as development of cost-effective ceramic membranes, understanding the biofouling evolution and economic evaluation of physicochemical processes for fouling control are proposed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume418
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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