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Issue 7, 2019
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Design of gradient nanopores in phenolics for ultrafast water permeation

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Abstract

Membrane technology is playing a pivotal role in providing potable water to our thirsty planet. However, the strong demand for highly permeable and durable membranes with affordable costs remains. Such membranes are synthesized herein by designing gradient nanopores in low-cost phenolics. The gradient nanopores are achieved by spontaneous assembly of phenolic nanoparticles with gradually enlarged sizes. These particles nucleate and grow as a result of ZnCl2-accelerated thermopolymerization of resol in the progressive downward gelating polymer. Subsequent removal of the gelated polymer and ZnCl2 exposes the gradient nanopores. The gradient nanopores endow the phenolic structures with unprecedented permselectivity when used in membrane separation, totally rejecting fine particulates down to 5 nm dispersed in water or aggressive solvents while allowing water to permeate up to two orders of magnitude faster than other membranes with similar rejections. Our work opens up an avenue for the rational design and affordable synthesis of ultrafast membranes.

Graphical abstract: Design of gradient nanopores in phenolics for ultrafast water permeation

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
08 Jul 2018
Accepted
11 Dec 2018
First published
11 Dec 2018

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 2093-2100
Article type
Edge Article

Design of gradient nanopores in phenolics for ultrafast water permeation

L. Guo, Y. Yang, F. Xu, Q. Lan, M. Wei and Y. Wang, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 2093
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC03012J

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