Discover the Editor's Choice: From each issue of the leading journal Water Science & Technology a member of the Editorial Board selects one outstanding paper to share across IWA Publishing platforms.  

IWA Publishing is pleased to announce that the 58th Editor's Choice Paper, chosen by Idil Arslan-Alaton, is:

Performance of polycaprolactone/TiO2 composite membrane for the effective treatment of dairy effluents

Sankar Nivedita; Shiny Joseph

https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2021.143

Why was this paper chosen?

Membrane technologies continue to attract major attention in food industry, biotechnology, pharmaceutical industry and particularly water/wastewater treatment applications. Nivedita and Joseph’s paper deals with the use of a unique polycaprolactone (PCL)-based membrane for the recovery of valuable proteins from a synthetic dairy wastewater sample. The high organic carbon content of dairy industry effluents mainly consisting of milk constituents can seriously harm the aquatic environment if not properly treated. PCL is a biodegradable polymeric substance with high biocompatibility and a good oil resistance. Hydrophilicity, porosity, self-cleaning and antifouling properties are vital for the performance of membranes to be used in industrial wastewater treatment including dairy wastewater.

In the present work, a PCL/TiO2 nanocomposite membrane was prepared with the addition of pore forming polyethylene glycol (PEG) using the phase inversion technique. Protein rejection and chlorine tolerance analyses were carried out to test the membrane performance for real industrial applications. PCL/TiO2 nanocomposite properties such as pore diameter, porosity, roughness, flux recovery, tensile strength and permeability were also compared with those of bare PCL membranes.

Results indicated that transformation of the membrane morphology to a more porous, spongy structure improved its permeate flux and protein rejection rate. The antifouling properties of the membrane were significantly enhanced with the addition of TiO2 nanoparticles in the dope solution. Further, this study confirmed the superior chlorine resistance, antifouling and protein rejection properties of the PCL/TiO2 nanocomposite membrane which are essential features when long-time industrial-scale applications are envisioned.

I read this comprehensive paper with great interest and am quite confident that WS&T readers will enjoy this paper, too.

Idil Arslan-Alaton, Editor

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