A critical review of membrane crystallization for the purification of water and recovery of minerals
Membrane crystallization is an innovative concept to treat water and recover minerals from concentrates. Thus, it will also be beneficial to the existing mineral extraction industry. This process combines membrane distillation (MD) with crystallization. While MD produces water and concentrates the feed, crystalliser forms crystals from supersaturated minerals in the concentrated feed. This review covers principles of this process, factors affecting membrane crystallization for water treatment, application of membrane crystallization, resource recovery and the fouling of membrane crystallization. Membrane crystallization could recover many minerals including sodium, magnesium, barium, strontium, and lithium. However, fouling is a major challenge for its widespread implementation. Further directions for future research and development of this process are also considered with a view to the sustainable operation of the process.