Aromatic solvent-assisted interfacial polymerization to prepare high performance thin film composite reverse osmosis membranes based on hydrophilic supports

Sung Joon Park, Soon Jin Kwon, Hyo Eun Kwon, Min Gyu Shin, Sang Hee Park, Hosik Park, You In Park, Seung Eun Nam, Jung-hyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report an aromatic solvent-assisted interfacial polymerization (IP) method to prepare high performance thin film composite reverse osmosis (RO) membranes based on a polyacrylonitrile support. The use of toluene and xylene as an organic solvent phase led to excellent water flux and unprecedentedly high NaCl rejection (∼99.9%), exceeding both the control membrane prepared using a conventional aliphatic solvent (n-hexane) and commercial RO membranes. The membrane prepared using n-hexane had a thick and moderately dense PA layer, due to the limited amine monomer diffusion, accounting for its relatively low performance. In contrast, the membranes fabricated using toluene/xylene had roof-like structures covering a thin and highly dense basal PA layer, which was formed by increased amine diffusion and an expanded miscible interface zone resulting from the enhanced miscibility of toluene/xylene with water. The excellent membrane performance achieved using toluene/xylene can be attributed to the thin and highly cross-linked basal PA layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalPolymer (United Kingdom)
Volume144
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 23

Keywords

  • Desalination
  • Interfacial polymerization
  • Polyacrylonitrile
  • Polyamide thin film composite membrane
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics

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