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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Short-Term Contact with C1–C4 Monohydric Alcohols on the Water Permeance of MPD-TMC Thin-Film Composite Reverse Osmosis Membranes

1
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Clemson University, 127 Earle Hall, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
2
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of Alabama, Box 870203, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2019, 9(8), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9080092
Received: 18 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 24 July 2019 / Published: 26 July 2019
In this paper, we discuss the effect of alcohol contact on the transport properties of thin-film composite reverse osmosis membranes. Five commercial membranes were studied to quantify the changes in water permeance and sodium chloride rejection from contact with five C1–C4 monohydric, alcohols. Water permeance generally increased without decreasing rejection after short-term contact. The extent of these changes depends on the membrane and alcohol used. Young′s modulus measurements showed decreased stiffness of the active layer after contacting the membranes with alcohol, suggesting plasticization. Data analysis using a dual-mode sorption model identified positive correlations of the initial water permeance, as well as the change in free energy of mixing between water and the alcohols, with the increase in water permeance after alcohol contact. We suggest that the mixing of water with the alcohols facilitates alcohol penetration into the active layer, likely by disrupting inter-chain hydrogen bonds, thus increasing the free volume for water permeation. Our studies provide a modeling framework to estimate the changes in transport properties after short-term contact with C1–C4 alcohols. View Full-Text
Keywords: thin-film composite; alcohol contact; water permeance; active layer thin-film composite; alcohol contact; water permeance; active layer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Idarraga-Mora, J.A.; Lemelin, M.A.; Weinman, S.T.; Husson, S.M. Effect of Short-Term Contact with C1–C4 Monohydric Alcohols on the Water Permeance of MPD-TMC Thin-Film Composite Reverse Osmosis Membranes. Membranes 2019, 9, 92.

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