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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 759;

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

Department of Chemical Engineering, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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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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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