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Polymers 2016, 8(3), 76; doi:10.3390/polym8030076

Polymer Inclusion Membranes (PIM) for the Recovery of Potassium in the Presence of Competitive Cations

1
Department of Polymer Chemistry, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
2
Wetsus, European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, P.O. Box 1113, 8911 MA Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
3
Membrane Science and Technology, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
4
Membrane Materials & Processes, Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemistry Eindhoven University of Technology, Groene Loper 5, 5612 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Scott M. Husson
Received: 12 January 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films and Membranes 2015)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2747 KB, uploaded 15 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

Potassium is an important nutrient used in fertilizers but is not always naturally available We investigated the properties of polymer inclusion membranes (PIM) regarding their selective recovery of K+ over competitive ions typically present in urine (Na+ and NH4+). The greatest flux was observed when the ratio of mass 2-nitrophenyl octyl ether (2-NPOE) used as plasticizer to cellulose triacetate (CTA) used as polymer was 0.25. The highest flux was achieved with a content of 24.8 wt % of dicyclohexan-18-crown-6 (DCH18C6) used as carrier, although the highest selectivity was observed with a content of 14.0 wt % of DCH18C6. We also studied whether the transport mechanism occurring in our system was based on co-transport of a counter-ion or ion exchange. Two different receiving phases (ultrapure water and 100 mM HCl) were tested. Results on transport mechanisms suggest that co-transport of cations and anions is taking place across our PIMs. The membrane deteriorated and lost its properties when the receiving phase was acidic; we suggested that this was due to hydrolysis of CTA. The greatest flux and selectivity were observed in ultrapure water as receiving phase. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer inclusion membrane; crown ether; potassium recovery; transport mechanism polymer inclusion membrane; crown ether; potassium recovery; transport mechanism
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Casadellà, A.; Schaetzle, O.; Nijmeijer, K.; Loos, K. Polymer Inclusion Membranes (PIM) for the Recovery of Potassium in the Presence of Competitive Cations. Polymers 2016, 8, 76.

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