Review of nanomaterials-assisted ion exchange membranes for electromembrane desalination

Adetunji Alabi, Ahmed AlHajaj, Levente Cseri, Gyorgy Szekely, Peter Budd, Linda Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


In order to address the increasing demand for fresh water due to accelerated social and economic growth in the world, water treatment technologies, such as desalination, have been rapidly developed in attempts to safeguard water security. Electromembrane desalination processes, such as electrodialysis and membrane capacitive deionization, belong to a category of desalination technologies, which involve the removal of ions from ionic solutions with the use of electrically charged membranes termed ion exchange membranes. The challenges associated with ion exchange membranes have drawn the attention of many researchers, who have investigated various approaches to enhance their properties. The incorporation of nanomaterials is one of the popular approaches employed. Much research on nanomaterials incorporated ion exchange membranes was conducted for the purpose of fuel cell applications rather than electromembrane desalination. This review reports on the advances in nanomaterials incorporated ion exchange membranes applicable to desalination. The nanomaterials employed in ion exchange membranes fabrication include carbon nanotubes, graphene-based nanomaterials, silica, titanium (IV) oxide, aluminum oxide, zeolite, iron (II, III) oxide, zinc oxide, and silver. The aims of this article are to provide a snap shot of the current status of nanomaterials incorporation in ion exchange membranes, to assess the status of nanomaterials-facilitated ion exchange membranes research for electromembrane desalination, and to stimulate progress in this area.

Original languageBritish English
Article number10
Journalnpj Clean Water
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018


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