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Characterization of clean and fouled ultrafiltration membranes

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Elsevier Science B.V.
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Abstract

Much research into the fundamentals of membrane formation and separation has been performed in order to improve the efficiency of the manufacture of ultrafiltration membranes. Determination of the membrane characteristics is a key problem in these investigations. In this paper, we report on a study of membrane morphology by fractional rejection measurements, using low molecular weight saccharides as the test solute, and by electron microscopy. Using a simple model for solute/solvent transport through cylindrical pores, a “characteristic pore size” was derived from saccharide rejection data. This pore size of a hypothetical isoporous membrane, interpreting the measured separation characteristics, provides a promising means of describing differences between membranes with respect to pore size and pore size changes caused by solute adsorption. From high resolution electron micrographs, information was obtained on the skin layer morphologies and, for some membranes the sizes of the larger pores could be estimated.

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