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Membranes 2018, 8(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8010010

Membranes: A Variety of Energy Landscapes for Many Transfer Opportunities

Laboratoire de Génie Chimique, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, 31062 Toulouse, France
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 15 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Transport Phenomena)
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Abstract

A membrane can be represented by an energy landscape that solutes or colloids must cross. A model accounting for the momentum and the mass balances in the membrane energy landscape establishes a new way of writing for the Darcy law. The counter-pressure in the Darcy law is no longer written as the result of an osmotic pressure difference but rather as a function of colloid-membrane interactions. The ability of the model to describe the physics of the filtration is discussed in detail. This model is solved in a simplified energy landscape to derive analytical relationships that describe the selectivity and the counter-pressure from ab initio operating conditions. The model shows that the stiffness of the energy landscape has an impact on the process efficiency: a gradual increase in interactions (such as with hourglass pore shape) can reduce the separation energetic cost. It allows the introduction of a new paradigm to increase membrane efficiency: the accumulation that is inherent to the separation must be distributed across the membrane. Asymmetric interactions thus lead to direction-dependent transfer properties and the membrane exhibits diode behavior. These new transfer opportunities are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane transport; osmosis; interaction membrane transport; osmosis; interaction
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bacchin, P. Membranes: A Variety of Energy Landscapes for Many Transfer Opportunities. Membranes 2018, 8, 10.

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