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Issue 9, 2018
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A zeolite-like aluminophosphate membrane with molecular-sieving property for water desalination

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Abstract

Membrane desalination has been proposed as a promising strategy to address the worldwide challenge of water scarcity. The development of membrane desalination is impeded by the limited availability of membrane materials, thus, selective membranes with high water fluxes are in high demand. Therefore, the synthesis of a zeolite-like aluminophosphate membrane for water desalination is reported herein. An AlPO4-18 membrane without visible cracks was prepared on stainless steel nets via a seeded approach. The specific adsorption and diffusion properties of the AlPO4-18 membrane toward water were simultaneously investigated by vapor adsorption measurements and molecular simulation. A large adsorption capacity indicates the excellent water affinity of the AlPO4-18 membrane, and water gathering around other water molecules suggests stronger water–water interactions than framework–water interactions. Meanwhile, water molecules transport rapidly through the pores, assisted by a built-in pathway and directed diffusion. The as-synthesized membranes are further evaluated for water desalination. The desalination tests of seawater containing both single and multi-component ions demonstrate that the AlPO4-18 membrane is very selective for water transport, evidenced by very high rejection degrees for cations (>99%). Moreover, the AlPO4-18 membrane exhibits unprecedented high water fluxes (2.14 kg m−2 h−1 in average). The superior performances of good selectivity, high water permeability and high stability ensure the potential application of supported aluminophosphate membranes in desalination.

Graphical abstract: A zeolite-like aluminophosphate membrane with molecular-sieving property for water desalination

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Nov 2017, accepted on 24 Jan 2018 and first published on 24 Jan 2018


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC04974A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2018,9, 2533-2539
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    A zeolite-like aluminophosphate membrane with molecular-sieving property for water desalination

    Y. Wang, X. Zou, L. Sun, H. Rong and G. Zhu, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 2533
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SC04974A

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