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Desalination, Vol.478, 2020
Recent advances in nanofibrous membranes: Production and applications in water treatment and desalination
Desalination of seawater is a promising technique that contributes a reliable and abundant source of clean potable water. This review investigates the current status and forthcoming advancement in nanofiber technology, with a special attention on its production along with its application in seawater desalination and water treatment. Nanofibers are the latest generation of nonwoven filter media, that contribute extraordinary features. In this paper, we discuss about the conventional techniques in the nanofiber production, like electrospinning (ES), melt blowing (MB), fibrillated bicomponent fiber extrusion, phase separation, drawing, self-assembly, and template synthesis, along with its benefits and limitations. We then present the developing nanofiber production techniques, like centrifugal spinning, plasma-induced synthesis, and solution blow spinning. Here, we also investigate the developing applications of nanofiber membranes (NFMs) in separation processes like forward osmosis (FO), membrane distillation, ultrafiltration (UF), microfiltration (MF), and nanofiltration (NF). This work also highlights the surface modifications performed in the NFMs for enhancing its efficiency. However, still there are difficulties to be considered and overpowered for NFM technology to approach further development. We believe that with additional advancement in the nanofiber manufacturing procedures and recognition of new utilization of NFMs, the nanofiber field of technology will develop and cross its present state towards commercialization and utilization.