Abstract: The objective of this research is to prepare and characterize a new and highly efficient polyamide TFC RO membrane by interfacial polymerization in dodecane solvent mixed with co-solvents. Three co-solvents were tested namely; acetone, ethyl acetate, and diethyl ether of concentration of 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 5 wt %. The modified membranes were characterized by SEM, EDX, AFM and contact angle techniques. The results showed that addition of co-solvent results in a decrease in the roughness, pore size and thickness of the produced membranes. However, as the concentration of the co-solvent increases the pore size of the membranes gets larger. Among the three co-solvents tested, acetone was found to result in membranes with the largest pore size and contact angle followed by diethyl ether then ethyl acetate. Measured contact angle increases as the concentration of the co-solvent increases reaching a constant value except for ethyl acetate where it was found to drop. Investigating flux and salt rejection by the formulated membranes showed that higher flux was attained when acetone was used as a co-solvent followed by diethyl ether then ethyl acetate. However, the highest salt rejection was achieved with diethyl ether.
Abstract: A major limitation in using membrane-based separation processes is the loss of performance due to membrane fouling. This drawback can be addressed thanks to surface modification treatments. A new and promising surface modification using green chemistry has been recently investigated. This modification is carried out at room temperature and in aqueous medium using green catalyst (enzyme) and nontoxic modifier, which can be safely labelled “green surface modification”. This modification can be considered as a nucleus of new generation of antifouling membranes and surfaces. In the current research, ferulic acid modifier and laccase bio-catalyst were used to make poly(ethersulfone) (PES) membrane less vulnerable to protein adsorption. The blank and modified PES membranes are evaluated based on e.g., their flux and protein repellence. Both the blank and the modified PES membranes (or laminated PES on silicon dioxide surface) are characterized using many techniques e.g., SEM, EDX, XPS and SPM, etc. The pure water flux of the most modified membranes was reduced by 10% on average relative to the blank membrane, and around a 94% reduction in protein adsorption was determined. In the conclusions section, a comparison between three modifiers—ferulic acid, and two other previously used modifiers (4-hydroxybenzoic acid and gallic acid)—is presented.
Abstract: Plastic packaging is essential nowadays. However, the huge environmental problem caused by landfill disposal of non-biodegradable polymers in the end of life has to be minimized and preferentially eliminated. The solution may rely on the use of biopolymers, in particular polysaccharides. These macromolecules with film-forming properties are able to produce attracting biodegradable materials, possibly applicable in food packaging. Despite all advantages of using polysaccharides obtained from different sources, some drawbacks, mostly related to their low resistance to water, mechanical performance and price, have hindered their wider use and commercialization. Nevertheless, with increasing attention and research on this field, it has been possible to trace some strategies to overcome the problems and recognize solutions. This review summarizes some of the most used polysaccharides in food packaging applications.
Abstract: Hollow fiber supported ionic liquid membranes (SILMs) were tested using the bubble point method to investigate potential failure modes, including the maximum transmembrane pressure before loss of the ionic liquid from the support. Porous hollow fiber supports were fabricated with different pore morphologies using Matrimid® and Torlon® as the polymeric material and 1-hexyl-3-methylimidalzolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([C6mim][Tf2N]) as the ionic liquid (IL) component. Hollow fiber SILMs were tested for their maximum pressure before failure, with pressure applied either from the bore side or shell side. It was found that the membranes exhibited one or more of three different modes of failure when pressurized: liquid loss (occurring at the bubble point), rupture, and collapse.
Abstract: Membrane proteins are embedded in a lipid bilayer and interact with the lipid molecules in subtle ways. This can be studied experimentally by examining the effect of different lipid bilayers on the function of membrane proteins. Understanding the causes of the functional effects of lipids is difficult to dissect experimentally but more amenable to a computational approach. Here we perform molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations to study the effect of two lipid types (POPC and NODS) on the conductance of the gramicidin A (gA) channel. A larger energy barrier is found for the K+ potential of mean force in gA embedded in POPC compared to that in NODS, which is consistent with the enhanced experimental conductance of cations in gA embedded in NODS. Further analysis of the contributions to the potential energy of K+ reveals that gA and water molecules in gA make similar contributions in both bilayers but there are significant differences between the two bilayers when the lipid molecules and interfacial waters are considered. It is shown that the stronger dipole moments of the POPC head groups create a thicker layer of interfacial waters with better orientation, which ultimately is responsible for the larger energy barrier in the K+ PMF in POPC.
Abstract: This article reports findings on the use of nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) for secondary treatment of high-strength rendering facility wastewaters following an ultrafiltration step. These wastewaters present significant challenges to classical treatment technologies. Constant-pressure, direct-flow membrane filtration experiments were done to screen for flux and effluent water permeate quality of ten commercial NF and RO membranes. All membranes tested were effective in reducing total dissolved salts (TDS) and chemical oxygen demand (COD); however, only two membranes (Koch MPF-34 and Toray 70UB) gave sufficiently stable flux values to warrant longer term cross-flow filtration studies. Cross-flow flux measurements, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and attenuated total reflectance-Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) indicated that both membranes were eventually fouled by organic and inorganic foulants; however, the Toray 70UB RO membrane yielded a capacity of 1600 L/m2 prior to cleaning. A preliminary economic analysis compared the estimated costs of energy and consumables for a dual-stage UF/RO membrane process and dissolved air floatation (DAF) and found membrane process costs could be less than about 40% of the current DAF process.