Microbial polysaccharide-based membranes: Current and future applications



Microbial polysaccharides are characterized by high molecular structure variability which translates into a wide range of different properties offering interesting opportunities for application in many different areas, including membrane-based products and processes. Due to their new or improved properties, microbial polysaccharides can replace plant, algae, and animal products, either in their traditional or in new applications. The main constraint to their wider use is the production costs that are still higher than that of other natural and synthetic polymers. The current applications of microbial polysaccharide membranes in medical, food, and industrial processes are outlined. The limitations still faced by these membranes and the requirements for obtaining innovative products and processes are also addressed. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2014, 131, 40047.