Solvent flux through dense polymeric nanofiltration membranes
journal contributionposted on 04.06.2009 by J.P. Robinson, Steve Tarleton, C.R. Millington, Arian Nijmeijer
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
This work examines the flux performance of organic solvents through a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite membrane. A selection of n-alkanes, i-alkanes and cyclic compounds were studied in deadend permeation experiments at pressures up to 900 kPa to give fluxes for pure solvents and mixtures between 10 and 100 l m-2 h-1. Results for the chosen alkanes and aromatics, and subsequent modelling using the Hagen-Poiseuille equation, suggest that solvent transport through PDMS can be successfully interpreted via a predominantly hydraulic mechanism. It is suggested that the mechanism has a greater influence at higher pressures and the modus operandi is supported by the non-separation of binary solvent mixtures and a dependency on viscosity and membrane thickness. The effects of swelling that follow solvent-membrane interactions show that the relative magnitudes of the Hildebrand solubility parameter for the active membrane layer and the solvent(s) are a good indicator of permeation level. Solvents constituting a group (e.g. all n-alkanes) induced similar flux behaviours when corrections were made for viscosity and affected comparable swelling properties in the PDMS membrane layer.
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