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Open AccessArticle

The Formation of Polyvinylidene Fluoride Membranes with Tailored Properties via Vapour/Non-Solvent Induced Phase Separation

Institute on Membrane Technology (ITM-CNR), Via Pietro Bucci, Cubo 17C, 870 36 Rende (CS), Italy
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Membranes 2018, 8(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8030071
Received: 4 August 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
The present investigation reports as it is possible to prepared polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes for microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) applications, by using triethyl phosphate (TEP) as non–toxic solvent in accordance with the Green Chemistry. Casting solutions containing different concentrations of polyethylene glycol (PEG) were prepared in order to study its effect on the final membrane morphology and properties. The possibility to finely modulate membrane properties was also investigated by applying two different membrane preparation techniques, the Non-Solvent Induced Phase Separation (NIPS) and its coupling with Vapour Induced Phase Separation (VIPS). Membranes’ morphology was detected by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Thickness, porosity, contact angle, pore size and water permeability were also recorded. Both the PEG content in the dope solution and the selected time intervals during which the nascent films were exposed to established relative humidity and temperature were found to play a crucial role in membrane formation. In particular, it was demonstrated as, by varying PEG content between 10 and 20 wt %, and by setting the exposure time to humidity at 0/2.5/5/7.5 min, membranes with different pore diameter and bicontinuous structure, suitable for UF and MF applications, could be easily obtained. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-toxic triethyl phosphate; membrane preparation, TEP; PVDF membranes; VIPS-NIPS non-toxic triethyl phosphate; membrane preparation, TEP; PVDF membranes; VIPS-NIPS
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Marino, T.; Russo, F.; Figoli, A. The Formation of Polyvinylidene Fluoride Membranes with Tailored Properties via Vapour/Non-Solvent Induced Phase Separation. Membranes 2018, 8, 71.

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