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Nanofiltration is a pressure driven membrane process with pores smaller than 2 nanometers, thus situated between ultrafiltration and nanofiltration. Traditionally, the definition of nanofiltration surrounded the separation of multi- from monovalent ions, this having a better distinction between steric hindrance and charge repulsion. The selectivity is governed by mass transfer, nanofluidics, solute-solute interactions and interfacial phenomena while novel visualization and modeling tools allow better understanding and material design. Such separation at molecular level opens the door for low energy desalination, resource recovery, micropollutant removal. With nanofiltration the availability of water can be augmented through brackish water treatment, water reuse, clean up of industrial effluents or landfill leachates and in zero liquid discharge. Being significantly more energy efficient than reverse osmosis, nanofiltration plays an important role in the global water cycle and submissions are invited that address this potential.
(Hero image by Dr. Siqi Liu, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Advanced Membrane Technology.)