Recent developments in polymeric electrospun nanofibrous membranes for seawater desalination
Seawater desalination is a promising strategy that offers an abundant and reliable source of clean fresh water. Nanotechnology, in terms of nanoparticles or electrospun nanofibrous membranes, for water-treatment or desalination applications, is a new concept that has rapidly grown in interest as a method for improving performance by enhancing the surface properties of membranes. Here, we report a critical review on recent developments in membrane-fabrication methods for seawater desalination technologies, focusing mainly on the electrospinning technique. High-performance membranes that address ongoing permeability concerns, while maintaining membrane selectivity, need further study and development. Considering that the world today is faced with energy-shortage crises, these membranes also need to be energy efficient. As electrospinning is considered to be a feasible method for the production of desalination membranes, this technique requires appropriate optimization and the structural properties of the membranes produced need to be controlled in order to tailor their properties to those desired for well-known desalination technologies, such as reverse osmosis and membrane distillation. Moreover, there is a need to understand the influence of membrane structure on performance, and the latest trends in their use as high-performance desalination membranes.