Hilke, Roland; Neelakanda, Pradeep; Behzad, Ali Reza; Nunes, Suzana Pereira; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor(Journal of Membrane Science, Elsevier BV, 2014-12)[Article]
We manufactured the first time block copolymer dual-layer hollow fiber membranes and dual layer flat sheet membranes manufactured by double solution casting and phase inversion in water. The support porous layer was based on polystyrene and the selective layer with isopores was formed by micelle assembly of polystyrene-. b-poly-4-vinyl pyridine. The dual layers had an excellent interfacial adhesion and pore interconnectivity. The dual membranes showed pH response behavior like single layer block copolymer membranes with a low flux for pH values less than 3, a fast increase between pH4 and pH6 and a constant high flux level for pH values above 7. The dry/wet spinning process was optimized to produce dual layer hollow fiber membranes with polystyrene internal support layer and a shell block copolymer selective layer.
Poly (ether imide sulfone) membranes were manufactured by combining phase inversion and functionalization reaction between epoxy groups and amine modified polyether oligomers (Jeffamine) or TiO2 nanoparticles. Polysilsesquioxanes containing epoxy functionalities were in-situ grown in the casting solution and made available for further reaction with amines in the coagulation/annealing baths. The membranes were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy, porosimetry and water flux measurements. Water permeances up to 1500 l m-2 h-1 bar-1 were obtained with sharp pore size distribution and a pore diameter peak at 66 nm, confirmed by porosimetry, which allowed 99.2% rejection of γ-globulin. Water flux recovery of 77.5% was achieved after filtration with proteins. The membranes were stable in 50:50 dimethylformamide/water, 50:50 N-methyl pyrrolidone/water and 100% tetrahydrofuran. The possibility of using similar concept for homogeneous and stable attachment of nanoparticles on the membrane surface was demonstrated.
Madhavan, Poornima; Hong, Pei-Ying; Sougrat, Rachid; Nunes, Suzana Pereira(ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2014-10-15)[Article]
Silver nanoparticles were deposited on the surface and pore walls of block copolymer membranes with highly ordered pore structure. Pyridine blocks constitute the pore surfaces, complexing silver ions and promoting a homogeneous distribution. Nanoparticles were then formed by reduction with sodium borohydride. The morphology varied with the preparation conditions (pH and silver ion concentration), as confirmed by field emission scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Silver has a strong biocide activity, which for membranes can bring the advantage of minimizing the growth of bacteria and formation of biofilm. The membranes with nanoparticles prepared under different pH values and ion concentrations were incubated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and compared with the control. The strongest biocidal activity was achieved with membranes containing membranes prepared under pH 9. Under these conditions, the best distribution with small particle size was observed by microscopy.
Hydrophilic surfaces are known to be less prone to fouling. Ultrafiltration membranes are frequently prepared from rather hydrophobic polymers like polysulfone (PSU). Strategies to keep the good pore forming characteristics of PSU, but with improved hydrophilicity are proposed here. PSU functionalized with 1,2,3-triazole ring substituents containing OH groups was successfully synthesized through click chemistry reaction. The structures of the polymers were confirmed using NMR spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). High thermal stability (>280°C) was observed by thermal gravimetric analysis. Elemental analysis showed the presence of nitrogen containing triazole group with different degrees of functionalization (23%, 49%, 56%, and 94%). The glass transition temperature shifted with the introduction of triazole pendant groups from 190°C (unmodified) to 171°C. Ultrafiltration membranes were prepared via phase inversion by immersion in different coagulation baths (NMP/water mixtures with volume ratios from 0/100 to 40/60). The morphologies of these membranes were studied by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The optimized PSU bearing triazole functions membranes exhibited water permeability up to 187 L m-2 h-1 bar-1, which is 23 times higher than those prepared under the same conditions but with unmodified polysulfone (PSU; 8 L m-2 h-1 bar-1). Results of bovine serum albumin protein rejection test indicated that susceptibility to fouling decreased with the modification, due to the increased hydrophilicity, while keeping high protein rejection ratio (>99%).
Films with a gradient concentration of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are reported, based on a phase inversion membrane process. Nanoparticles with ∼13 nm diameter were prepared by coprecipitation in aqueous solution and stabilized by oleic acid. They were further functionalized by ATRP leading to grafted polystyrene brush. The final nanoparticles of 33 nm diameter were characterized by TGA, FTIR spectroscopy, GPC, transmission electron microscopy, and dynanmic light scattering. Asymmetric porous nanoparticle assemblies were then prepared by solution casting and immersion in water. The nanocomposite film production with functionalized nanoparticles is fast and technically scalable. The morphologies of films were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, demonstrating the presence of sponge-like structures and finger-like cavities when 50 and 13 wt % casting solutions were, respectively, used. The magnetic properties were evaluated using vibrating sample magnetometer.
We model high molecular weight homopolymers in semidilute concentration via Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD). We show that in model reduction methodologies for polymers it is not enough to preserve system properties (i.e., density ρ, pressure p, temperature T, radial distribution function g(r)) but preserving also the characteristic shape and length scale of the polymer chain model is necessary. In this work we apply a DPD-model-reduction methodology for linear polymers recently proposed; and demonstrate why the applicability of this methodology is limited upto certain maximum polymer length, and not suitable for solvent coarse graining.
Francis, Lijo; Ghaffour, NorEddine; Alsaadi, Ahmad Salem; Nunes, Suzana Pereira; Amy, Gary L.(Journal of Membrane Science, Elsevier BV, 2014-04)[Article]
The flux performance of different hydrophobic microporous flat sheet commercial membranes made of poly tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and poly propylene (PP) was tested for Red Sea water desalination using the direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) process, under bench scale (high δT) and large scale module (low δT) operating conditions. Membranes were characterized for their surface morphology, water contact angle, thickness, porosity, pore size and pore size distribution. The DCMD process performance was optimized using a locally designed and fabricated module aiming to maximize the flux at different levels of operating parameters, mainly feed water and coolant inlet temperatures at different temperature differences across the membrane (δT). Water vapor flux of 88.8kg/m2h was obtained using a PTFE membrane at high δT (60°C). In addition, the flux performance was compared to the first generation of a new locally synthesized and fabricated membrane made of a different class of polymer under the same conditions. A total salt rejection of 99.99% and boron rejection of 99.41% were achieved under extreme operating conditions. On the other hand, a detailed water characterization revealed that low molecular weight non-ionic molecules (ppb level) were transported with the water vapor molecules through the membrane structure. The membrane which provided the highest flux was then tested under large scale module operating conditions. The average flux of the latter study (low δT) was found to be eight times lower than that of the bench scale (high δT) operating conditions.
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