Recent advances in mitigating membrane biofouling using carbon-based materials

Yichao Wu, Yinfeng Xia, Xinxin Jing, Peng Cai, Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Chuyang Tang, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Biofouling is the Achilles Heel of membrane processes. The accumulation of organic foulants and growth of microorganisms on the membrane surface reduce the permeability, shorten the membrane life, and increase the energy consumption. Advancements in novel carbon-based materials (CBMs) present significant opportunities in mitigating biofouling of membrane processes. This article provides a comprehensive review of the recent progress in the application of CBMs in antibiofouling membrane. It starts with a detailed summary of the different antibiofouling mechanisms of CBM-containing membrane systems. Next, developments in membrane modification using CBMs, especially carbon nanotubes and graphene family materials, are critically reviewed. Further, the antibiofouling potential of next-generation carbon-based membranes is surveyed. Finally, the current problems and future opportunities of applying CBMs for antibiofouling membranes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120976
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 15


  • Biochar
  • Biofilm
  • Biofouling
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Carbon-based materials
  • Graphene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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