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Investigation of the Use of a Bio-Derived Solvent for Non-Solvent-Induced Phase Separation (NIPS) Fabrication of Polysulfone Membranes

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
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Membranes 2018, 8(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8020023
Received: 14 April 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
Organic solvents, such as N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and dimethylacetamide (DMAc), have been traditionally used to fabricate polymeric membranes. These solvents may have a negative impact on the environment and human health; therefore, using renewable solvents derived from biomass is of great interest to make membrane fabrication sustainable. Methyl-5-(dimethylamino)-2-methyl-5-oxopentanoate (Rhodiasolv PolarClean) is a bio-derived, biodegradable, nonflammable and nonvolatile solvent. Polysulfone is a commonly used polymer to fabricate membranes due to its thermal stability, strong mechanical strength and good chemical resistance. From cloud point curves, PolarClean showed potential to be a solvent for polysulfone. Membranes prepared with PolarClean were investigated in terms of their morphology, porosity, water permeability and protein rejection, and were compared to membranes prepared with traditional solvents. The pores of polysulfone/PolarClean membranes were sponge-like, and the membranes displayed higher water flux values (176.0 ± 8.8 LMH) along with slightly higher solute rejection (99.0 ± 0.51%). On the other hand, PSf/DMAc membrane pores were finger-like with lower water flux (63.1 ± 12.4 LMH) and slightly lower solute rejection (96 ± 2.00%) when compared to PSf/PolarClean membranes. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-derived solvent; non-solvent induced phase separation; membrane synthesis bio-derived solvent; non-solvent induced phase separation; membrane synthesis
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Dong, X.; Al-Jumaily, A.; Escobar, I.C. Investigation of the Use of a Bio-Derived Solvent for Non-Solvent-Induced Phase Separation (NIPS) Fabrication of Polysulfone Membranes. Membranes 2018, 8, 23.

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