Comparative effectiveness of membrane technologies and disinfection methods for virus elimination in water: A review

Sci Total Environ. 2021 Dec 20;801:149678. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149678. Epub 2021 Aug 14.


The pandemic of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has brought viruses into the public horizon. Since viruses can pose a threat to human health in a low concentration range, seeking efficient virus removal methods has been the research hotspots in the past few years. Herein, a total of 1060 research papers were collected from the Web of Science database to identify technological trends as well as the research status. Based on the analysis results, this review elaborates on the state-of-the-art of membrane filtration and disinfection technologies for the treatment of virus-containing wastewater and drinking water. The results evince that membrane and disinfection methods achieve a broad range of virus removal efficiency (0.5-7 log reduction values (LRVs) and 0.09-8 LRVs, respectively) that is attributable to the various interactions between membranes or disinfectants and viruses having different susceptibility in viral capsid protein and nucleic acid. Moreover, this review discusses the related challenges and potential of membrane and disinfection technologies for customized virus removal in order to prevent the dissemination of the waterborne diseases.

Keywords: Disinfection; Drinking water treatment; Membrane; Virus removal; Wastewater treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Disinfection
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Viruses*
  • Water
  • Water Purification*


  • Water