Solvent flux through dense polymeric nanofiltration membranes
journal contributionposted on 04.06.2009, 08:34 by J.P. Robinson, Steve Tarleton, C.R. Millington, Arian Nijmeijer
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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