Removal of contaminants of emerging concern by membranes in water and wastewater: A review

Sewoon Kim, Kyoung Hoon Chu, Yasir A.J. Al-Hamadani, Chang Min Park, Min Jang, Do Hyung Kim, Miao Yu, Jiyong Heo, Yeomin Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

468 Scopus citations


This review summarizes comprehensive recent studies on the removal of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) by forward osmosis (FO), reverse osmosis (RO), nanofiltration (NF), and ultrafiltration (UF) membrane treatments, and describes important information on the applications of FO, RO, NF, and UF membranes in water and wastewater (WW) treatment. The main objective of this review was to synthesize findings on membrane treatments of CECs in water and WW, and to highlight upcoming research areas based on knowledge gaps. In particular, this review aimed to address several key parameters, including the physicochemical properties of CECs (solute molecular weight/size/geometry, charge, and hydrophobicity), water quality conditions (pH, solute concentration, temperature, background inorganics, and natural organic matter), and membrane properties and operating conditions (membrane fouling, membrane pore size, porosity, charge, and pressure) that influence the removal of CECs during membrane filtration. Future research directions regarding membrane treatment for the removal of CECs from water and WW are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-914
Number of pages19
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Contaminants of emerging concern
  • Forward osmosis
  • Nanofiltration
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Water and wastewater treatment


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