Characterisation of nanofiltration membranes for predictive purposes - Use of salts, uncharged solutes and atomic force microscopy

W. Richard Bowen, A. Wahab Mohammad, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

524 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An asymmetric nanofiltration membrane (Hoechst, PES5) has been characterised by three different techniques: modelling of the rejection of simple salts, modelling of the rejection of uncharged solutes and atomic force microscopy. Interpretation of experimental data for the rejection of three salts having common co-ion (LiCl, NaCl, KCl) with model calculations allows a characterisation of the membrane in terms of three parameters: an effective pore radius (r(p)), the ratio of effective thickness over porosity (Δχ/A(κ)) and an effective charge density (χ). Interpretation of experimental data with model calculations for uncharged solutes (Vitamin B12, raffinose, sucrose, glucose, glycerin) allows a characterisation in terms of r(p) and Δχ/(κ). Atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows direct determination of surface pore radius r(p)(s), and surface porosity A(κ)(s). The AFM images provide direct confirmation of the presence of discrete surface pores in such membranes. Further comparison of the characterisation obtained with salts and that obtained with uncharged solutes shows that it is better to describe the transport through such membranes as occurring through discrete pores rather than using an homogenous description of the membrane structure. It is also shown that the complexity of a 'space-charge' description of the electric field distribution in the nanometre dimension pores of such membranes is not warranted. Direct experimental evidence of the charging mechanism of the membranes is provided. Overall characterisation parameters suitable for predictive purposes are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-105
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume126
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Nanofiltration membranes
Atomic Force Microscopy
Atomic force microscopy
solutes
Salts
atomic force microscopy
membranes
salts
Membranes
porosity
rejection
Porosity
Raffinose
Membrane structures
Vitamins
Sugar (sucrose)
Vitamin B 12
Charge density
Glycerol
Electric space charge

Keywords

  • AFM
  • Homogenous membrane
  • Nanofiltration
  • Nernst-Planck
  • Porous membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Filtration and Separation
  • Polymers and Plastics

Cite this

Characterisation of nanofiltration membranes for predictive purposes - Use of salts, uncharged solutes and atomic force microscopy. / Bowen, W. Richard; Mohammad, A. Wahab; Hilal, Nidal.

In: Journal of Membrane Science, Vol. 126, No. 1, 02.04.1997, p. 91-105.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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