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Mechanistic insights of nanofillers tuning polymer microstructures for enhanced separation performance of nanofiltration membrane

Publication ,  Journal Article
Liu, Y; Yang, J; Bai, L; Qu, D; Liu, Z; Wang, Z; Wiesner, MR; Liang, H
Published in: Separation and Purification Technology
August 9, 2024

Nanomaterials, added in small quantities as “nanofillers,” have been shown to improve the performance of NF membranes in terms of mechanical properties, anti-fouling characteristics, selectivity, and transport. The goal of this work is to explore the mechanisms of nanofiller improvements on selectivity and transport of NF membranes. Carboxylated cellulose nanocrystals, multi-walled carbon nanotubes, and graphene oxide were selected as nanofillers to be added in the fabrication of free-standing polyamide (PA) films for the characterization of the internal structure of the polymer materials. Investigations of polymer characteristics revealed that the PA film with nanofillers was a semi-crystalline cross-linked polymer that exhibited an increase in chain length and free volume, and a reduction of cross-linkage and crystallite size. Molecular dynamics simulation results showed that the growth of free volume caused by polymeric chain stacking allowed water molecules to readily penetrate the spaces between polymer chains, which was primarily responsible for the enhanced permeability of PA films with nanofillers. The changes in the crystallite structures influenced the dielectric properties of the membrane matrix and the confined water in the pores, leading to the enhancement of dielectric exclusion, which can be harnessed to improve the separation performance. Taken together, our findings elucidated the structural changes of PA polymers induced by nanomaterials governing the properties and performance of NF membranes, which should be considered in the design of high-performance NF membranes.

Duke Scholars

Published In

Separation and Purification Technology

DOI

EISSN

1873-3794

ISSN

1383-5866

Publication Date

August 9, 2024

Volume

341

Related Subject Headings

  • Chemical Engineering
  • 4011 Environmental engineering
  • 4004 Chemical engineering
  • 0904 Chemical Engineering
  • 0301 Analytical Chemistry
 

Citation

APA
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ICMJE
MLA
NLM
Liu, Y., Yang, J., Bai, L., Qu, D., Liu, Z., Wang, Z., … Liang, H. (2024). Mechanistic insights of nanofillers tuning polymer microstructures for enhanced separation performance of nanofiltration membrane (Accepted). Separation and Purification Technology, 341. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2024.126847
Liu, Y., J. Yang, L. Bai, D. Qu, Z. Liu, Z. Wang, M. R. Wiesner, and H. Liang. “Mechanistic insights of nanofillers tuning polymer microstructures for enhanced separation performance of nanofiltration membrane (Accepted).” Separation and Purification Technology 341 (August 9, 2024). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2024.126847.
Liu Y, Yang J, Bai L, Qu D, Liu Z, Wang Z, et al. Mechanistic insights of nanofillers tuning polymer microstructures for enhanced separation performance of nanofiltration membrane (Accepted). Separation and Purification Technology. 2024 Aug 9;341.
Liu, Y., et al. “Mechanistic insights of nanofillers tuning polymer microstructures for enhanced separation performance of nanofiltration membrane (Accepted).” Separation and Purification Technology, vol. 341, Aug. 2024. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.seppur.2024.126847.
Liu Y, Yang J, Bai L, Qu D, Liu Z, Wang Z, Wiesner MR, Liang H. Mechanistic insights of nanofillers tuning polymer microstructures for enhanced separation performance of nanofiltration membrane (Accepted). Separation and Purification Technology. 2024 Aug 9;341.
Journal cover image

Published In

Separation and Purification Technology

DOI

EISSN

1873-3794

ISSN

1383-5866

Publication Date

August 9, 2024

Volume

341

Related Subject Headings

  • Chemical Engineering
  • 4011 Environmental engineering
  • 4004 Chemical engineering
  • 0904 Chemical Engineering
  • 0301 Analytical Chemistry