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Open AccessArticle

Membranes: A Variety of Energy Landscapes for Many Transfer Opportunities

Laboratoire de Génie Chimique, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, 31062 Toulouse, France
Membranes 2018, 8(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8010010
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 15 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
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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MDPI and ACS Style

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

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