Can carbon-based nanomaterials revolutionize membrane fabrication for water treatment and desalination?

Yehia Manawi, Victor Kochkodan, Muataz Ali Hussein, Moe A. Khaleel, Marwan Khraisheh, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to their exceptional mechanical, conductive and antibacterial properties carbon-based nanomaterials (CNMs) have been widely used in attempts to fabricate novel membranes for water treatment and desalination with advanced characteristics. This paper reviews the current state of the application of CNMs, including carbon nanotubes, graphene, graphene oxide, carbon nanofibers, MXene, carbide derived carbon and fullerene for membrane preparation. A brief description of different CNMs and their properties has been provided with reference to membrane requirements. Thereafter the recent studies on the membrane fabrication/modification with CNMs as well as the properties of the developed membranes have been critically summarised. It was shown that, in some cases, using CNMs results in novel membranes with high flux, high rejection, low-fouling, and enhanced conductive, thermal and mechanical properties. However, further research including determining the optimum CNM quantity and characteristics, feed-specific membrane performance and long-term operability should be conducted to better evaluate the feasibility of CNM-based membranes in water treatment and desalination. This review paper is potentially important for researchers involved in the membrane fabrication using CNMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-88
Number of pages20
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Carbon-based nanomaterials
  • Desalination
  • Membrane fabrication
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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