pH-responsive membranes: Mechanisms, fabrications, and applications

Muayad Al-Shaeli, Said Benkhaya, Raed A. Al-Juboori, Ismail Koyuncu, Vahid Vatanpour*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Understanding the mechanisms of pH-responsiveness allows researchers to design and fabricate membranes with specific functionalities for various applications. The pH-responsive membranes (PRMs) are particular categories of membranes that have an amazing aptitude to change their properties such as permeability, selectivity and surface charge in response to changes in pH levels. This review provides a brief introduction to mechanisms of pH-responsiveness in polymers and categorizes the applied polymers and functional groups. After that, different techniques for fabricating pH-responsive membranes such as grafting, the blending of pH-responsive polymers/microgels/nanomaterials, novel polymers and graphene-layered PRMs are discussed. The application of PRMs in different processes such as filtration membranes, reverse osmosis, drug delivery, gas separation, pervaporation and self-cleaning/antifouling properties with perspective to the challenges and future progress are reviewed. Lastly, the development and limitations of PRM fabrications and applications are compared to provide inclusive information for the advancement of next-generation PRMs with improved separation and filtration performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number173865
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.


  • Antifouling
  • Desalination
  • Drug delivery
  • Pollutants
  • Selective permeation
  • Smart membranes


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