Sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for osmotic power generation

Abstract
In this work, a novel sandwich-structured hollow fiber membrane has been developed via a specially designed spinneret and optimized spinning conditions. With this specially designed spinneret, the outer layer, which is the most crucial part of the sandwich-structured membrane, is maintained the same as the traditional dual-layer membrane. The inner substrate layer is separated into two layers: (1) an ultra-thin middle layer comprising a high molecular weight polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) additive to enhance integration with the outer polybenzimidazole (PBI) selective layer, and (2) an inner-layer to provide strong mechanical strength for the membrane. Experimental results show that a high water permeability and good mechanical strength could be achieved without the expensive post treatment process to remove PVP which was necessary for the dual-layer pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) membranes. By optimizing the composition, the membrane shows a maximum power density of 6.23W/m2 at a hydraulic pressure of 22.0bar when 1M NaCl and 10mM NaCl are used as the draw and feed solutions, respectively. To our best knowledge, this is the best phase inversion hollow fiber membrane with an outer selective PBI layer for osmotic power generation. In addition, this is the first work that shows how to fabricate sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for various applications. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Citation
Fu F-J, Zhang S, Chung T-S (2015) Sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for osmotic power generation. Desalination 376: 73–81. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2015.08.018.

Acknowledgements
National University of Singapore[R-279-000-381-279]
“Membrane development for osmotic power generation, Part 1. Materials development and membrane fabrication”[1102-IRIS-11-01]

Publisher
Elsevier BV

Journal
Desalination

DOI
10.1016/j.desal.2015.08.018

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