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Environmental Engineering Research 2025;30(1): 240103 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2024.103
Removal of contaminants of emerging concern by membranes in water and wastewater: An updated review
Siye Kim1, Byung-Moon Jun2, Bongyeon Jung1, Chang Min Park3, Min Jang4, Seong-Nam Nam5  , and Yeomin Yoon1 
1Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University, 52 Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03760, Republic of Korea
2Radwaste Management Center, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), 111 Daedeok-Daero 989beon-gil, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon 34057, Republic of Korea
3Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehak-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu 41566, Republic of Korea
4Department of Environmental Engineering, Kwangwoon University, 447-1 Wolgye-dong Nowon-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
5Military Environmental Research Center, Korea Army Academy at Yeongcheon, 495 Hoguk-ro, Gogyeong-myeon, Yeongcheon-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, 38900, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author: Seong-Nam Nam ,Tel: +82-54-330-4838, Fax: +82-54-330-4839, Email: namsn76@gmail.com
Yeomin Yoon ,Tel: +82-2-3277-2369, Fax: +82-2-3277-2369, Email: yoony@ewha.ac.kr
Received: February 20, 2024;  Accepted: May 8, 2024.
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The current review covers removal of contaminants of emerging concern by membranes in water and wastewater since our much cited review in 2018. This review offers a wide-ranging examination of membrane technologies—in particular, forward osmosis, reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration—as potent solutions that can be used to target contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in water and wastewater treatment. Emphasizing the urgency of preserving water quality amid increasing demand and CEC-related concerns, the current paper underscores the critical need to obtain a more holistic understanding of the impacts of CEC, effective strategies for their removal, and essential regulatory measures. The interplay between membrane properties, operating conditions, and contaminants underscores the importance of tailored membrane designs and optimization in achieving efficient CEC removal. The main purpose of this review was to synthesize the existing knowledge on membrane treatment of CECs and highlight future research directions. This review not only synthesizes the recent advancements that have been achieved but also highlights critical research avenues, including advanced surface modifications, novel materials, optimized operational parameters, and sustainability considerations. Achieving future strides in these areas would likely enhance the efficacy and sustainability of membrane technologies in combatting CECs in water systems.
Keywords: Contaminants of emerging concern | Forward osmosis | Nanofiltration | Reverse osmosis | Ultrafiltration | Water and wastewater treatment
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