Membrane modification with carbon nanomaterials for fouling mitigation: A review

Dmitrii I. Petukhov, Daniel J. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This paper provides a comprehensive overview of recent advancements in membrane modification for fouling mitigation in various water treatment processes, employing carbon nanomaterials such as fullerenes, nanodiamonds, carbon quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, and graphene oxide. Currently, using different carbon nanomaterials for polymeric membrane fouling mitigation is at various stages: CNT-modified membranes have been studied for more than ten years and have already been tested in pilot-scale setups; tremendous attention has been paid to utilizing graphene oxide as a modifying agent, while the research on carbon quantum dots' influence on the membrane antifouling properties is in the early stages. Given the intricate nature of fouling as a colloidal phenomenon, the review initially delves into the factors influencing the fouling process and explores strategies to address it. The diverse chemistry and antibacterial properties of carbon nanomaterials make them valuable for mitigating scaling, colloidal, and biofouling. This review covers surface modification of existing membranes using different carbon materials, which can be implemented as a post-treatment procedure during membrane fabrication. Creating mixed-matrix membranes by incorporating carbon nanomaterials into the polymer matrix requires the development of new synthetic procedures. Additionally, it discusses promising strategies to actively suppress fouling through external influences on modified membranes. In the concluding section, the review compares the effectiveness of carbon materials of varying dimensions and identifies key characteristics influencing the antifouling properties of membranes modified with carbon nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103140
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - May 2024


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Carbon quantum dots
  • Fouling
  • Graphene oxide
  • Mixed matrix membranes
  • Surface functionalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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