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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 759; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8050759

High-Performance Thin-Film-Nanocomposite Cation Exchange Membranes Containing Hydrophobic Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework for Monovalent Selectivity

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electro-membrane Processes for Clean Water and Sustainable Energy)
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Abstract

Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) offers good hydrothermal, chemical, and thermal stabilities, and is therefore of interest in membrane synthesis. In this work, an interfacial polymerization (IP) method was applied by anchoring ZIF-8 to the skin layer of thin-film nanocomposite (TFN) membranes in order to obtain monovalent selectivity in electrodialysis. Organic trimesoyl chloride (TMC, 0.1 wt %) solutions and aqueous m-phenyl diamine (MPD, 2% w/v) solutions were used during the interfacial polymerization process. A range of polyamine (PA)/ZIF-8 based membranes was fabricated by varying the concentration of ZIF-8 in the organic solution. The properties of the primary and modified membrane were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX), atomic force microscopy (AFM), water uptake, ion exchange capacity, and contact angle measurements. No significant changes of the surface structure of the PA/ZIF-8 based membranes were observed. Nevertheless, the presence of ZIF-8 under the PA layer plays a key role in the separation process. For single salt solutions that were applied in electrodialysis (ED), faster transport of Na+ and Mg2+ was obtained after introducing the ZIF-8 nanoparticles, however, the desalination efficiency remained constant. When the hybrid membranes were applied to electrodialysis for binary mixtures containing Na+ as well as Mg2+, it was demonstrated that the monovalent selectivity and Na+ flux were enhanced by a higher ZIF-8 loading. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrodialysis; ZIF-8; interfacial polymerization; desalination; monovalent selectivity electrodialysis; ZIF-8; interfacial polymerization; desalination; monovalent selectivity
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Li, J.; Zhao, Z.; Yuan, S.; Zhu, J.; Van der Bruggen, B. High-Performance Thin-Film-Nanocomposite Cation Exchange Membranes Containing Hydrophobic Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework for Monovalent Selectivity. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 759.

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