Recent advances in mitigating membrane biofouling using carbon-based materials

J Hazard Mater. 2020 Jan 15;382:120976. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.120976. Epub 2019 Aug 11.


Biofouling is the Achilles Heel of membrane processes. The accumulation of organic foulants and growth of microorganisms on the membrane surface reduce the permeability, shorten the membrane life, and increase the energy consumption. Advancements in novel carbon-based materials (CBMs) present significant opportunities in mitigating biofouling of membrane processes. This article provides a comprehensive review of the recent progress in the application of CBMs in antibiofouling membrane. It starts with a detailed summary of the different antibiofouling mechanisms of CBM-containing membrane systems. Next, developments in membrane modification using CBMs, especially carbon nanotubes and graphene family materials, are critically reviewed. Further, the antibiofouling potential of next-generation carbon-based membranes is surveyed. Finally, the current problems and future opportunities of applying CBMs for antibiofouling membranes are discussed.

Keywords: Biochar; Biofilm; Biofouling; Carbon nanotube; Carbon-based materials; Graphene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofouling / prevention & control*
  • Carbon*
  • Membranes, Artificial*


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Carbon