Recent advances in biopolymeric membranes towards the removal of emerging organic pollutants from water

Feziwe B. Mamba, Bhekani S. Mbuli, James Ramontja

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Herein, this paper details a comprehensive review on the biopolymeric membrane applications in micropollutants’ removal from wastewater. As such, the implications of utilising non-biodegradable membrane materials are outlined. In comparison, considerations on the concept of utilising nanostructured biodegradable polymeric membranes are also outlined. Such biodegradable polymers under considerations include biopolymers-derived cellulose and carrageenan. The advantages of these biopolymer materials include renewability, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and cost-effectiveness when compared to non-biodegradable polymers. The modifications of the biopolymeric membranes were also deliberated in detail. This included the utilisation of cellulose as matrix support for nanomaterials. Furthermore, attention towards the recent advances on using nanofillers towards the stabilisation and enhancement of biopolymeric membrane performances towards organic contaminants removal. It was noted that most of the biopolymeric membrane applications focused on organic dyes (methyl blue, Congo red, azo dyes), crude oil, hexane, and pharmaceutical chemicals such as tetracycline. However, more studies should be dedicated towards emerging pollutants such as micropollutants. The biopolymeric membrane performances such as rejection capabilities, fouling resistance, and water permeability properties were also outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number798
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Biodegradable
  • Membrane fouling
  • Micropollutants
  • Separation mechanisms
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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