Document Type : Review Paper


1 CFD Research Centre, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.

2 Environmental Research Center, Department of Applied Chemistry, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.



The research on membrane-based filtration technology for water treatment has expanded in recent years. Membrane fouling is a major challenge that decreases the permeability and decreases the lifetime and selectivity of the membrane. Recently, it was found that fouling mitigation and better control of membrane fouling can be attained under the application of the electric field. This paper provides an overview of the application of the electric field to the filtration process and its antifouling mechanism. Utilization of conductive polymeric membranes and application of electric field in membrane bioreactors are reviewed as well. The presented review demonstrates that the introduction of negative charge into the membrane surface via preparing conductive membranes or applying an external electric field onto the membrane surface suggests several advantages. These are fouling alleviation, better control of membrane fouling, an increase of membrane resistance to cake deposition on the membrane surface, and superior possible applications such as better salt rejection and antibacterial activity.


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