Recent advances in membrane filtration for heavy metal removal from wastewater: A mini review

Hongrui Xiang, Xiaobo Min, Chong Jian Tang, Mika Sillanpää, Feiping Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


The global increasing contamination of water resources with toxic heavy metals poses severe threats to human health and aqueous ecosystem. Therefore, it is of high significance to develop low-cost, feasible, and sustainable technologies for the heavy metal removal from wastewater. The membrane separation method possesses some of its great properties, such as high efficiency, easy operation and low space requirements, which has been considered as a promising method for heavy metal removal. In this review, an extensive list of various membrane methods for heavy metal removal from the literature has been compiled. This study reviews the latest developments, discoveries, and prospective applications related to ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, and electrodialysis, with an in-depth focus on heavy metal removal. Furthermore, the present review offers a summary and outlook on the opportunities and challenges in the membrane filtration field. Overall, it was found that membrane filtration methods have a promising potential for the practical applications for heavy metal removal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103023
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrodialysis
  • Heavy metal
  • Mechanisms
  • Nanofiltration
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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