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Polymers 2018, 10(7), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070719

The Effect of Diluent Mixture with Upper Critical Solution Temperature on Membrane Formation Process, Microstructure, and Performance of PVDF Hollow Fiber Membrane by TIPS Process

1
State Key Laboratory of Separation Membranes and Membrane Processes/National Center for International Joint Research on Separation Membranes, School of Material Science and Engineering, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387, China
2
School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 30 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer for separation)
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Abstract

Thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) is a technique to prepare commercial membrane. However, the quick polymer crystallization during the quenching process will bring about a dense and thick skin layer and thus decrease permeability markedly. In this paper, a diluent mixture with upper critical solution temperature (UCST) was used to prepare polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) hollow fiber membrane. That is, the separation between diluent (propylene carbonate (PC)) and non-diluent (dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP)) occurred during the quenching process when the temperature of the dope was lower than 110 °C. The effects of separation between PC and DOTP and the resulting coalescence of DOTP on the PVDF crystallization process, microstructure, and the permeability of the membranes were analyzed. The results showed that the suitable PC/DOTP weight ratio reduced the thickness of the skin layer near the outer surface markedly and resulted in a porous outer surface, and the microstructure evolution process was proposed. The maximum pure water flux for the prepared membrane is up to 128.5 L·m−2·h−1 even in a dry mode without using a hydrophilizing agent. The rejection rate of the carbonic particle is nearly 100%. This study presents a novel and simple way to fabricate the microporous membrane with the interconnected pore structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermally induced phase separation; PVDF; microstructure; upper critical solution temperature; interconnection thermally induced phase separation; PVDF; microstructure; upper critical solution temperature; interconnection
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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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Cui, Z.; Xu, S.; Ding, J.; Zhang, J.; He, B.; Wang, H.; Li, J. The Effect of Diluent Mixture with Upper Critical Solution Temperature on Membrane Formation Process, Microstructure, and Performance of PVDF Hollow Fiber Membrane by TIPS Process. Polymers 2018, 10, 719.

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