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Membranes, Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2020) – 14 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Membrane fouling is the bottleneck that limits the wide application of membrane processes. Herein, an electroactive polyether sulfone (PES) membrane with excellent anti-fouling capability was designed. Incorporating electrochemistry, the proposed design offers the prospect of both improving water flux and enhancing foulant rejection efficiency. Three types of model foulants were rationally selected (i.e., bovine serum albumin (BSA) and sodium alginate (SA) as non-migratory foulants, yeast as proliferative foulant, and emulsified oil as spreadable foulant). Results suggest that electrochemical assistance endows the membrane with strong electrostatic repulsive properties, which keeps foulants away from the membrane surface. A low electrical field was also effective in mitigating membrane fouling caused by a cocktail of various foulants. View this paper
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36 pages, 12213 KiB  
Review
Microscopy and Spectroscopy Techniques for Characterization of Polymeric Membranes
by Yousef Alqaheem and Abdulaziz A. Alomair
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020033 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 54 | Viewed by 12397
Abstract
Polymeric membrane is a proven technology for water purification and wastewater treatment. The membrane is also commercialized for gas separation, mainly for carbon dioxide removal and hydrogen recovery. Characterization techniques are excellent tools for exploring the membrane structure and the chemical properties. This [...] Read more.
Polymeric membrane is a proven technology for water purification and wastewater treatment. The membrane is also commercialized for gas separation, mainly for carbon dioxide removal and hydrogen recovery. Characterization techniques are excellent tools for exploring the membrane structure and the chemical properties. This information can be then optimized to improve the membrane for better performance. In this paper, characterization techniques for studying the physical structure such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are discussed. Techniques for investigating the crystal structure such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) are also considered. Other tools for determining the functional groups such Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) are reviewed. Methods for determining the elemental composition such as energy-dispersion X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray fluorescent (XRF), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) are explored. The paper also gives general guidelines for sample preparation and data interpretation for each characterization technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Gas Separation)
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18 pages, 4158 KiB  
Article
Visible-Light Active Photocatalytic Dual Layer Hollow Fiber (DLHF) Membrane and Its Potential in Mitigating the Detrimental Effects of Bisphenol A in Water
by Roziana Kamaludin, Zatilfarihiah Rasdi, Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan Othman, Siti Hamimah Sheikh Abdul Kadir, Noor Shafina Mohd Nor, Jesmine Khan, Wan Nor I’zzah Wan Mohamad Zain, Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Mukhlis A Rahman and Juhana Jaafar
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020032 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3618
Abstract
The presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in various water sources has potentially led to numerous adverse effects in human such as increased in blood pressure and derangement in liver function. Thus, a reliable treatment for the removing BPA is highly required. This present [...] Read more.
The presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in various water sources has potentially led to numerous adverse effects in human such as increased in blood pressure and derangement in liver function. Thus, a reliable treatment for the removing BPA is highly required. This present work aimed to study the efficiency of visible light driven photocatalytic dual-layer hollow fiber (DLHF) membrane for the removal of BPA from water and further investigated its detrimental effects by using an in-vivo model. The prepared membranes were characterized for their morphology, particles distribution, surface roughness, crystallinity and light absorption spectra. The removal of 81.6% and 86.7% in BPA concentration was achieved for N-doped TiO2 DLHF after 360 min of visible and UV light irradiation, respectively. No significant changes for all three groups were observed in liver function test meanwhile the rats-exposed to untreated BPA water shows significance blood pressure increment contrary to rats-exposed to treated BPA water. Similarly, the normal morphology in both jejunum and ileum were altered in rats-exposed to untreated BPA water group. Altogether, the presence of N-doped TiO2 in DLHF are shown to significantly enhance the photocatalytic degradation activity under visible irradiation, which effectively mitigates the effect of BPA in an in-vivo model. Full article
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14 pages, 2796 KiB  
Article
Chemically Crosslinked Sulfonated Polyphenylsulfone (CSPPSU) Membranes for PEM Fuel Cells
by Je-Deok Kim, Akihiro Ohira and Hidenobu Nakao
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020031 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4185
Abstract
Sulfonated polyphenylsulfone (SPPSU) with a high ion exchange capacity (IEC) was synthesized using commercially available polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), and a large-area (16 × 18 cm2) crosslinked sulfonated polyphenylsulfone (CSPPSU) membrane was prepared. In addition, we developed an activation process in which the [...] Read more.
Sulfonated polyphenylsulfone (SPPSU) with a high ion exchange capacity (IEC) was synthesized using commercially available polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), and a large-area (16 × 18 cm2) crosslinked sulfonated polyphenylsulfone (CSPPSU) membrane was prepared. In addition, we developed an activation process in which the membrane was treated with alkaline and acidic solutions to remove sulfur dioxide (SO2), which forms as a byproduct during heat treatment. CSPPSU membranes obtained using this activation method had high thermal, mechanical and chemical stabilities. In I-ViR free studies for fuel cell evaluation, high performances similar to those using Nafion were obtained. In addition, from the hydrogen (H2) gas crossover characteristics, the durability is much better than that of a Nafion212 membrane. In the studies evaluating the long-term stabilities by using a constant current method, a stability of 4000 h was obtained for the first time. These results indicate that the CSPPSU membrane obtained by using our activation method is promising as a polymer electrolyte membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic Conductive Membranes for Fuel Cells)
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9 pages, 1633 KiB  
Brief Report
Creating Supported Plasma Membrane Bilayers Using Acoustic Pressure
by Erdinc Sezgin, Dario Carugo, Ilya Levental, Eleanor Stride and Christian Eggeling
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020030 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4289
Abstract
Model membrane systems are essential tools for the study of biological processes in a simplified setting to reveal the underlying physicochemical principles. As cell-derived membrane systems, giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) constitute an intermediate model between live cells and fully artificial structures. Certain [...] Read more.
Model membrane systems are essential tools for the study of biological processes in a simplified setting to reveal the underlying physicochemical principles. As cell-derived membrane systems, giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) constitute an intermediate model between live cells and fully artificial structures. Certain applications, however, require planar membrane surfaces. Here, we report a new approach for creating supported plasma membrane bilayers (SPMBs) by bursting cell-derived GPMVs using ultrasound within a microfluidic device. We show that the mobility of outer leaflet molecules is preserved in SPMBs, suggesting that they are accessible on the surface of the bilayers. Such model membrane systems are potentially useful in many applications requiring detailed characterization of plasma membrane dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics and Nano-Organization in Plasma Membranes)
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16 pages, 5110 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Supported Ionic Liquid Membranes and Polymeric Ultrafiltration and Nanofiltration Membranes for Separation of Lignin and Monosaccharides
by Ricardo Abejón, Javier Rabadán, Aurora Garea and Angel Irabien
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020029 - 14 Feb 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2747
Abstract
Lignin is one of the three main components of lignocellulosic biomass and must be considered a raw material with attractive applications from an economic and ecological point of view. Therefore, biorefineries must have in mind the most adequate processing to obtain high-quality lignin [...] Read more.
Lignin is one of the three main components of lignocellulosic biomass and must be considered a raw material with attractive applications from an economic and ecological point of view. Therefore, biorefineries must have in mind the most adequate processing to obtain high-quality lignin and the separation tasks that play a key role to improve the purity of the lignin. Separation techniques based on membranes are a promising way to achieve these requirements. In this work, the separation performance of the SILM (Supported Ionic Liquid Membrane) formed with [BMIM][DBP] as IL (Ionic Liquid) and PTFE as membrane support was compared to a nanofiltration (NF) membrane (NP010 by Microdyn-Nadir) and two ultrafiltration (UF) membranes (UF5 and UF10 by Trisep). The SILM showed selective transport of Kraft lignin, lignosulphonate, xylose, and glucose in aqueous solutions. Although it was stable under different conditions and its performance was improved by the integration of agitation, it was not competitive when compared to NF and UF membranes, although the latter ones suffered fouling. The NF membrane was the best alternative for the separation of lignosulphonates from monosaccharides (separation factors around 75 while SILM attained only values lower than 3), while the UF5 membrane should be selected to separate Kraft lignin and monosaccharides (separation factors around 100 while SILM attained only values below 3). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: 10th Anniversary)
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16 pages, 1740 KiB  
Article
The Function of Adsorption, Photo-Oxidation, and Humic Acid Using Air Backwashing in Integrated Water Treatment of Multichannel Ceramic MF and PP Particles
by Sangwoo Park, Dongyeop Kim and Jin Yong Park
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020028 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2288
Abstract
For advanced water treatment, function of microfiltration (MF), adsorption, photo-oxidation, humic acid (HA), and polypropylene (PP) particles on membrane fouling and decay effectiveness were investigated in an integrated water treatment, of multichannel ceramic MF and PP particles, using UV radiation and air backwashing. [...] Read more.
For advanced water treatment, function of microfiltration (MF), adsorption, photo-oxidation, humic acid (HA), and polypropylene (PP) particles on membrane fouling and decay effectiveness were investigated in an integrated water treatment, of multichannel ceramic MF and PP particles, using UV radiation and air backwashing. The synthetic feed was organized with HA and kaolin. The membrane fouling resistance (Rf) of the (MF + PP) system presented the lowermost, and amplified intensely from the (MF + UV) to MF system. The percentages of MF and adsorption by PP particles for turbidity treatment were 87.6% and 3.8%, individually; however, the percentages of MF and adsorption by PP particles for dissolved organic matters (DOM) treatment were 27.9% and 5.0%, respectively. The decay effectiveness of turbidity presented the greatest 95.4% at HA of 10 mg/L; however, that of DOM increased as HA concentration ascended. The ultimate Rf after 180 min procedure showed the maximum at 30 g/L of PP particles concentration, and improved dramatically, as PP particles decreased. Finally, the maximum VT was acquired at 30 and 50 g/L of PP particles, because flux preserved greater throughout the procedure. The decay effectiveness of turbidity and DOM showed the maximal 95.4% and 56.8% at 40 and 50 g/L of PP particles, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Membrane Systems and Processes)
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11 pages, 3361 KiB  
Article
Permeation Properties of Ions through Inorganic Silica-Based Membranes
by Junko Yoshiura, Katsunori Ishii, Yuta Saito, Takaya Nagataki, Yuhei Nagataki, Ayumi Ikeda and Mikihiro Nomura
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020027 - 08 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3231
Abstract
The development of inorganic membranes has mainly found applicability in liquid separation technologies. However, only a few reports cite the permeation and separation of liquids through inorganic nanofiltration membranes compared with the more popular microfiltration membranes. Herein, we prepared silica membranes using 3,3,3-trifluoropropyltrimethoxysilane [...] Read more.
The development of inorganic membranes has mainly found applicability in liquid separation technologies. However, only a few reports cite the permeation and separation of liquids through inorganic nanofiltration membranes compared with the more popular microfiltration membranes. Herein, we prepared silica membranes using 3,3,3-trifluoropropyltrimethoxysilane (TFPrTMOS) to investigate its liquid permeance performance using four different ion solutions (i.e., NaCl, Na2SO4, MgCl2, and MgSO4). The TFPrTMOS-derived membranes were deposited above a temperature of 175 °C, where the deposition behavior of TFPrTMOS was dependent on the organic functional groups decomposition temperature. The highest membrane rejection was from NaCl at 91.0% when deposited at 200 °C. For anions, the SO42− rejections were the greatest. It was also possible to separate monovalent and divalent anions, as the negatively charged groups on the membrane surfaces retained pore sizes >1.48 nm. Ions were also easily separated by molecular sieving below a pore size of 0.50 nm. For the TFPrTMOS-derived membrane deposited at 175 °C, glucose showed 67% rejection, which was higher than that achieved through the propyltrimethoxysilane membrane. We infer that charge exclusion might be due to the dissociation of hydroxyl groups resulting from decomposition of organic groups. Pore size and organic functional group decomposition were found to be important for ion permeation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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11 pages, 3409 KiB  
Article
Control of Sequential MTO Reactions through an MFI-Type Zeolite Membrane Contactor
by Shusei Tanizume, Toshihiro Yoshimura, Katsunori Ishii and Mikihiro Nomura
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020026 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2905
Abstract
A membrane for controlling methanol-to-olefin (MTO) reactions was developed, which featured an MFI-type zeolite membrane (Si/Al = 25) that was synthesized on a porous α-alumina substrate using a secondary growth method. Here, the H2/SF6 permeance ratios were between 150 and [...] Read more.
A membrane for controlling methanol-to-olefin (MTO) reactions was developed, which featured an MFI-type zeolite membrane (Si/Al = 25) that was synthesized on a porous α-alumina substrate using a secondary growth method. Here, the H2/SF6 permeance ratios were between 150 and 450. The methanol conversion rate was 70% with 38% ethylene selectivity and 28% propylene selectivity as determined using a cross-flow membrane contactor. In order to improve the olefin selectivity of the membrane, the MFI zeolite layer (Si/Al = ∞) was coated on an MFI-type zeolite membrane (Si/Al = 25). Using this two-layered membrane system, the olefin selectivity value increased to 85%; this was 19% higher than the value obtained during the single-layer membrane system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Transfer in Membranes)
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21 pages, 4071 KiB  
Article
The Application of Submerged Modules for Membrane Distillation
by Marek Gryta
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020025 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3538
Abstract
This paper deals with the efficiency of capillary modules without an external housing, which were used as submerged modules in the membrane distillation process. The commercial hydrophobic capillary membranes fabricated for the microfiltration process were applied. Several constructional variants of submerged modules were [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the efficiency of capillary modules without an external housing, which were used as submerged modules in the membrane distillation process. The commercial hydrophobic capillary membranes fabricated for the microfiltration process were applied. Several constructional variants of submerged modules were discussed. The influence of membrane arrangement, packing density, capillary diameter and length on the module performance was determined. The effect of process conditions, i.e., velocity and temperature of the streams, on the permeate flux was also evaluated. The submerged modules were located in the feed tank or in the distillate tank. It was found that much higher values of the permeate flux were obtained when the membranes were immersed in the feed with the distillate flowing inside the capillary membranes. The efficiency of submerged modules was additionally compared with the conventional membrane distillation (MD) capillary modules and a similar performance of both constructions was achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Distillation Process)
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33 pages, 1887 KiB  
Review
A Review on the Mechanism, Impacts and Control Methods of Membrane Fouling in MBR System
by Xianjun Du, Yaoke Shi, Veeriah Jegatheesan and Izaz Ul Haq
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020024 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 173 | Viewed by 13857
Abstract
Compared with the traditional activated sludge process, a membrane bioreactor (MBR) has many advantages, such as good effluent quality, small floor space, low residual sludge yield and easy automatic control. It has a promising prospect in wastewater treatment and reuse. However, membrane fouling [...] Read more.
Compared with the traditional activated sludge process, a membrane bioreactor (MBR) has many advantages, such as good effluent quality, small floor space, low residual sludge yield and easy automatic control. It has a promising prospect in wastewater treatment and reuse. However, membrane fouling is the biggest obstacle to the wide application of MBR. This paper aims at summarizing the new research progress of membrane fouling mechanism, control, prediction and detection in the MBR systems. Classification, mechanism, influencing factors and control of membrane fouling, membrane life prediction and online monitoring of membrane fouling are discussed. The research trends of relevant research areas in MBR membrane fouling are prospected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CESE-2019: Applications of Membranes for Sustainability)
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12 pages, 4348 KiB  
Article
Purification of Methylsulfonylmethane from Mixtures Containing Salt by Conventional Electrodialysis
by Xinlai Wei, Yaoming Wang, Haiyang Yan, Ke Wu and Tongwen Xu
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020023 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4235
Abstract
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is one of the main sources of sulfur for living bodies, but it is hard to obtain as a pure compound. Conventional electrodialysis (CED) is a mature technology that can be used for the separation and purification of biochemical products. In [...] Read more.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is one of the main sources of sulfur for living bodies, but it is hard to obtain as a pure compound. Conventional electrodialysis (CED) is a mature technology that can be used for the separation and purification of biochemical products. In this study, the purification of MSM from mixtures containing salt was performed by CED. The effects of operating conditions such as operation voltage drop, feed MSM concentration, and electrolyte salt concentration on the separation performances were investigated. The results showed that the current efficiency reached 74.0%, and the energy consumption could be 12.3 Wh·L−1. As for the recovery rate and desalination rate, the highest recovery rate could be 97.4%, and the desalination rate was 98.5%. Based on process energy consumption calculation, the total cost of the whole process was estimated at only 2.34 $·t−1. Thus, CED is highly efficient and cost-effective for the separation and purification of MSM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-Exchange Membranes and Processes)
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23 pages, 4052 KiB  
Article
Mathematical Modeling of the Effect of Water Splitting on Ion Transfer in the Depleted Diffusion Layer Near an Ion-Exchange Membrane
by Victor Nikonenko, Mahamet Urtenov, Semyon Mareev and Gérald Pourcelly
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020022 - 31 Jan 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3717
Abstract
Water splitting (WS) and electroconvection (EC) are the main phenomena affecting ion transfer through ion-exchange membranes in intensive current regimes of electrodialysis. While EC enhances ion transport, WS, in most cases, is an undesirable effect reducing current efficiency and causing precipitation of sparingly [...] Read more.
Water splitting (WS) and electroconvection (EC) are the main phenomena affecting ion transfer through ion-exchange membranes in intensive current regimes of electrodialysis. While EC enhances ion transport, WS, in most cases, is an undesirable effect reducing current efficiency and causing precipitation of sparingly soluble compounds. A mathematical description of the transfer of salt ions and H+ (OH) ions generated in WS is presented. The model is based on the Nernst–Planck and Poisson equations; it takes into account deviation from local electroneutrality in the depleted diffusion boundary layer (DBL). The current transported by water ions is given as a parameter. Numerical and semi-analytical solutions are developed. The analytical solution is found by dividing the depleted DBL into three zones: the electroneutral region, the extended space charge region (SCR), and the quasi-equilibrium zone near the membrane surface. There is an excellent agreement between two solutions when calculating the concentration of all four ions, electric field, and potential drop across the depleted DBL. The treatment of experimental partial current–voltage curves shows that under the same current density, the surface space charge density at the anion-exchange membrane is lower than that at the cation-exchange membrane. This explains the negative effect of WS, which partially suppresses EC and reduces salt ion transfer. The restrictions of the analytical solution, namely, the local chemical equilibrium assumption, are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane-Assisted (Bio)Chemical Process and Technology)
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16 pages, 24779 KiB  
Article
Mitigation of Membrane Fouling Using an Electroactive Polyether Sulfone Membrane
by Chunyan Ma, Chao Yi, Fang Li, Chensi Shen, Zhiwei Wang, Wolfgang Sand and Yanbiao Liu
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020021 - 30 Jan 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3730
Abstract
Membrane fouling is the bottleneck limiting the wide application of membrane processes. Herein, we adopted an electroactive polyether sulfone (PES) membrane capable of mitigating fouling by various negatively charged foulants. To evaluate anti-fouling performance and the underlying mechanism of this electroactive PES membrane, [...] Read more.
Membrane fouling is the bottleneck limiting the wide application of membrane processes. Herein, we adopted an electroactive polyether sulfone (PES) membrane capable of mitigating fouling by various negatively charged foulants. To evaluate anti-fouling performance and the underlying mechanism of this electroactive PES membrane, three types of model foulants were selected rationally (e.g., bovine serum albumin (BSA) and sodium alginate (SA) as non-migratory foulants, yeast as a proliferative foulant and emulsified oil as a spreadable foulant). Water flux and total organic carbon (TOC) removal efficiency in the filtering process of various foulants were tested under an electric field. Results suggest that under electrochemical assistance, the electroactive PES membrane has an enhanced anti-fouling efficacy. Furthermore, a low electrical field was also effective in mitigating the membrane fouling caused by a mixture of various foulants (containing BSA, SA, yeast and emulsified oil). This result can be attributed to the presence of electrostatic repulsion, which keeps foulants away from the membrane surface. Thereby it hinders the formation of a cake layer and mitigates membrane pore blocking. This work implies that an electrochemical control might provide a promising way to mitigate membrane fouling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Processing and Engineering)
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28 pages, 4063 KiB  
Article
Characterization of MK-40 Membrane Modified by Layers of Cation Exchange and Anion Exchange Polyelectrolytes
by Valentina Titorova, Konstantin Sabbatovskiy, Veronika Sarapulova, Evgeniy Kirichenko, Vladimir Sobolev and Ksenia Kirichenko
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020020 - 27 Jan 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3844
Abstract
Coating of ion exchange membranes used in electrodialysis with layers of polyelectrolytes is a proven approach that allows for the increasing of the limiting current, the suppressing of sedimentation, the controlling of the intensity of generation of H+ and OH ions, [...] Read more.
Coating of ion exchange membranes used in electrodialysis with layers of polyelectrolytes is a proven approach that allows for the increasing of the limiting current, the suppressing of sedimentation, the controlling of the intensity of generation of H+ and OH ions, and also the improving of monovalent selectivity. However, in the case when two materials with the opposite sign of the charge of fixed groups come in contact, a bipolar boundary is created that can cause undesirable changes in the membrane properties. In this work, we used a MK-40 heterogeneous membrane on the surface of which a layer of polyethyleneimine was applied by adsorption from a solution as a model of heterogeneous membranes modified with oppositely charged polyelectrolyte. It was found that, on one hand, the properties of modified membrane were beneficial for electrodialysis, its limiting current did not decrease and the membrane even acquired a barrier to non-selective electrolyte transport. At the same time, the generation of H+ and OH ions of low intensity arose, even in underlimiting current modes. It was also shown that despite the presence of a layer of polyethyleneimine, the surface charge of the modified membrane remained negative, which we associate with low protonation of polyethyleneimine at neutral pH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Analysis and Characterization)
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