Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2005, 44, 7609
PrefacesMembrane Engineering Membranes are already an important component of many technologies, ranging from separation processes to modern drug delivery systems, and their impact on our lives will be even more important in the future. It is clear that supplies of water and energy will be critical issues of the future. Membrane systems are a dominant technology in the desalination of brackish water and seawater and will be a key element in solving many of the issues of future water supplies for human consumption and manufacturing technologies. Fuel cells are believed to be one part of the future solution of energy supply and delivery. More-effective and lessexpensive membranes for proton conduction are key to this technology, as well as membrane reactors and membrane purifiers in certain fuel cell configurations. Of course, membranes will also play a key role in the more-effective recovery and use of natural gas. The issue of global warming has prompted much concern about capturing carbon dioxide from the combustion gases generated from fossil fuels. Membranes will undoubtedly have some role in this area. Membranes have been used for almost 30 years for separations in some industrial processes where they provide energy efficiency not attainable with other technologies. As the cost of energy continues to increase, these uses are anticipated to continue strong growth. Concepts of membranes are utilized in consumer products such as detergents, food, cosmetics, etc. They are also used in the microelectronic and biotechnology industries, and applications will extend to many other technologies. These are just a few of the ways membranes have already impacted our world or will in the coming years. This issue of Industrial Engineering and Chemical Research contains a small collection of papers that is intended to illustrate some of the technical issues and the diversity of applications for “membrane engineering”. The authors of all the papers in this collection were invited to submit the contributions that appear here.
Enrico Drioli Institute on Membrane Technology, ITM-CNR (formerly IRMERC-CNR), Via P. Bucci 17/C, c/o University of Calabria, 87030 Rende (CS)-Italy
Donald R. Paul Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 IE0580553
10.1021/ie0580553 CCC: $30.25 © 2005 American Chemical Society Published on Web 07/21/2005