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Nanofiltration membranes with cellulose nanocrystals as an interlayer for unprecedented performance

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Abstract

Nanofiltration membranes are of great interest in brackish water desalination and drinking water purification. Improving the permeation and separation performance remains a big challenge in advanced nanofiltration membranes. Herein, we report triple-layered composite nanofiltration membranes constructed by the interfacial polymerization of diamine and acyl chloride on a cellulose nanocrystal interlayer supported by a microporous substrate. The cellulose nano-crystal interlayer plays a crucial role in the polyamide skin layer formation and the following nanofiltration process. It can store aqueous diamine monomers and slow down the interfacial polymerization for a relatively low cross-linking degree of the skin layer. This hydrophilic interlayer also facilitates water permeation through a “dragging effect”. The constructed membranes exhibit an ultra-high permeation flux up to 204 L m−2 h−1 under 0.6 MPa with a Na2SO4 rejection above 97%, which is the highest reported result to our knowledge. The ultra-high water permeation flux enables nanofiltration at low operating pressure, making it an energy-saving process. Moreover, the low cross-linking degree of the skin layer results in a high monovalent/divalent ion separation ratio.

Graphical abstract: Nanofiltration membranes with cellulose nanocrystals as an interlayer for unprecedented performance

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jan 2017, accepted on 06 Apr 2017 and first published on 06 Apr 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA00501F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Advance Article
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    Nanofiltration membranes with cellulose nanocrystals as an interlayer for unprecedented performance

    J. Wang, H. Yang, M. Wu, X. Zhang and Z. Xu, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA00501F

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