Membranes prepared from oceanic biopolymers have a high potential in membrane separation processes and water purification. It is anticipated to result in more biocompatible and lower-cost materials compared with artificial polymers. This chapter describes the excellent performance of oceanic biopolymer membranes in separation engineering and the regulation factors controlling membrane properties. In particular, chitosan and alginate were picked up as intelligent membrane materials to provide the promised molecular size recognition and other membrane properties. Future prospective strategies for a simple methodology for preparing stable membranes from oceanic biopolymers and the development of selective separation processing were reviewed.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Biopolymers
Chitosan, known as a most typical marine biological polymer, has a fruitful capability of biocompatible gel formation. Attempts of chitosan have been made to develop it from the multifaceted viewpoint of separation technology. The physicochemical properties of chitosan containing a lot of hydroxyl groups and reactive amino groups help to build the characteristic polymer networks. The deacetylation degree of chitosan is found as the most influential factor to regulate properties of chitosan hydrogels. The antibacterial activity of the chitosan membrane is one of its notable abilities because of its practical application. The chitosan, its derivatives, and the complex formation with other substances has been used for applications in filtration and membrane separation processes. Adsorption processes based on chitosan have been also developed widely. Moreover, complex of chitosan gel helps to immobilize adsorbent particles. The chitosan membrane immobilizing Prussian-Blue for cesium ion removal from the aqueous phase is one of the leading cases. To elaborate the adsorption behavior on the chitosan immobilizing adsorbent, the isothermal equilibrium and mass transfer characteristics can be discussed. The adsorption process using chitosan-based membranes in combination with filtration in a flow process is advantageous compared with the batch process. More advanced studies of chitosan aerogel and chitosan nanofibers have been proceeded recently, especially for adapting to water purification and air filtration.
Part of the book: Chitin and Chitosan