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Title: Effects of the support on the characteristics and permselectivity of thin film composite membranes
Authors: Li, Xuesong
Li, Qing
Fang, Wangxi
Wang, Rong
Krantz, William B.
Keywords: Engineering::Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Li, X., Li, Q., Fang, W., Wang, R., & Krantz, W. B. (2019). Effects of the support on the characteristics and permselectivity of thin film composite membranes. Journal of Membrane Science, 580, 12-23. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2019.03.003
Journal: Journal of Membrane Science
Abstract: How the membrane support affects the performance of thin-film composite (TFC) membranes has long been under debate. Our present study experimentally establishes that the support pore number density (number per unit area) as well as its surface porosity play pivotal roles in affecting the characteristics and permselectivity of TFC membranes. The structure of hollow fiber supports was finely tuned and characterized via a series of techniques, which provided a link to the physicochemical properties of the interfacially polymerized polyamide films. During the spinning process, decreasing the content of N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone in the bore fluid drastically reduced the pore size and surface porosity of the support. The resultant TFC membranes showed a lower water permeability (tested under 1 bar using 500 ppm NaCl). Adding lithium chloride to the polymer dope also led to a support with smaller pores and lower porosity, but increased surface pore number density. The resulting TFC membranes had a substantially higher water permeability and slightly higher salt rejection. In both arrays of membranes, all membranes shared similar thickness of polyamide leaf but a more crumpled film was found on a less porous support, suggesting that the surface porosity of the support affected the effective surface area of films. However, the TFC membrane with a higher effective surface area did not necessarily possess a higher permeability. Rather, a TFC membrane having a support with a higher surface porosity or a higher pore number density exhibited a higher water permeability, demonstrating that the lateral transport path of water through films had a significant impact on the water permeability of TFC membranes. Interestingly, in both cases, the selectivity of the TFC membranes was maintained when the water permeability increased. This study clarifies longstanding misunderstandings concerning the effects of the support on TFC membrane performance and provides insight into fabricating highly permeable and selective TFC membranes.
ISSN: 0376-7388
DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2019.03.003
Rights: © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Journal of Membrane Science and is made available with permission of Elsevier B.V.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:CEE Journal Articles

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