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Breaking through permeability-selectivity trade-off of thin-film composite membranes assisted with crown ethers
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  • Liang Shen,
  • Ming Yi,
  • Susilo Japip,
  • Lian Tian,
  • Cherhon Lau,
  • Yan Wang
Liang Shen
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
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Ming Yi
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
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Susilo Japip
National University of Singapore
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Lian Tian
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
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Cherhon Lau
The University of Edinburgh
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Yan Wang
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
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Abstract

In this study, we deployed a modified interfacial polymerization process to incorporate multifunctional crown ethers (CEs) into thin-film composite (TFC) polyamide membranes. These CE additives acted as both the phase-transfer catalyst and co-solvent to facilitate the diffusion of amine monomers into the organic phase and also enhanced the free volume content of the selective layer, facilitating water transport and inhibiting the diffusion of draw solutes. Various characterization techniques were employed to elucidate the modification mechanism as a function of CE chemical and physical properties on the microstructure of resultant TFC membranes and consequently separation performances. Compared to TFC membranes produced from traditional interfacial polymerization method, CE-modified membranes exhibited a 146% water flux enhancement and 59% lower reverse salt fluxes with a suitable draw solution. CE-modified membranes also exhibited improved antifouling performance with a lower flux drop (34% decline) and a higher flux recovery ratio (38% improvement).

Peer review status:Published

07 May 2020Submitted to AIChE Journal
07 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
07 May 2020Assigned to Editor
12 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 Jul 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
14 Sep 20201st Revision Received
23 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed
23 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
28 Sep 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
16 Nov 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
20 Nov 20202nd Revision Received
24 Nov 2020Submission Checks Completed
24 Nov 2020Assigned to Editor
25 Nov 2020Editorial Decision: Accept
13 Jan 2021Published in AIChE Journal. 10.1002/aic.17173