The opportunity to couple membrane processes and crystallization, in order to develop an efficient crystallization technology, has been proposed in the form of a membrane crystallizer (MCr). In this system the membrane does not act simply as support for solvent evaporation, but also as a synthetic hydrophobic and porous surface able to activate heterogeneous nucleation starting at low super saturation and enhancing the kinetics of crystallization, even for large molecules like proteins. Thank to these advantages crystals with controlled morphologies and structures can be produced. Moreover, membrane crystallizers represent an additional option for realizing integrated and high efficient systems, operating in the logic of the process intensification strategy, to substantially improve in terms of water quality, product recovery factor, overall cost, and environmental impact of brine, seawater desalination processes.
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