Document Type : Review Paper


1 Ministry of Science and Technology, Baghdad- Iraq.

2 Membrane Technology Research Unit, Chemical Engineering Dept., University of Technology-Iraq, Alsina’a street, 10066 Baghdad, Iraq.

3 Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dept., Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia

4 Chemical Engineering Dept., Faculty of Engineering, Mutah University, P.O. Box 7, Karak, 61710, Jordan.

5 Institute on Membrane Technology, National Research Council (ITM-CNR), 87030 Rende (CS), Italy.


Radioactive waste poses significant risks to human health and the environment due to the emission of gamma rays, beta particles, and alpha particles from natural or artificial radioactive elements. This paper reviews the essential sources of radioactive waste, their potential risks to humans and the environment, their classification depending on their chemical, physical, and radiological features, and the treatment techniques utilized to prevent them from leaking into the environment. In addition, the current study focuses on using membranes exclusively and membrane technologies in the remediation of radioactive liquid wastes. The use of pressure-driven membrane technologies, such as reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration, is particularly emphasized. Additionally, the use of nanomaterials like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, silica, alumina, silver oxide, zeolite, copper ferrocyanides, and carbon nanotubes embedded with membranes to improve their effectiveness and enhance their applicability decreases the risks associated with radioactive contamination via modifying membrane properties including flow rate, the result of rejecting radioactive particles dissolved or suspended in contaminated water, hydrophobic and hydrophilic membrane's ability and among other properties. Moreover, incorporating nanoparticles into reinforced membranes enhances the mechanics of nanocomposite membrane surfaces via processes like adsorption and ion exchange with various radioactive ions. Besides increasing nanocomposite membranes' performance in reducing the hazardous radionuclides effects, it modifies membrane properties, such as enhancing antibacterial capabilities, antifouling, mechanical stability, and thermal stability. The article review also discusses hybrid pressure-driven membrane processes in disposing of radionuclides generated in nuclear power plants, hospitals, research facilities, and decontamination projects to protect human health and the environment.

Graphical Abstract


  • Review of advances in liquid radioactive waste processing using membrane technology
  • Membrane processes show enormous potential in radioactive science and technology
  • Focus on nanoparticle materials for removing hazardous isotopes from liquid wastes


Main Subjects

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