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Crosslinked PVDF-membranes for solvent resistant nanofiltration

Mertens, Matthias, Van Goethem, Cédric, Thijs, Marloes, Koeckelberghs, Guy, Vankelecom, Ivo F.J.
Journal of membrane science 2018 v.566 pp. 223-230
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, acetonitrile, artificial membranes, crosslinking, dimethylformamide, drying, ethanol, methanol, nanofiltration, scanning electron microscopy, solutes, solvents, thermoplastics, toluene, transmission electron microscopy, weight loss
Crosslinked poly(vinylidene difluoride) (PVDF) nanofiltration membranes were prepared and tested for solvent resistant nanofiltration (SRNF) and solvent tolerant nanofiltration (STNF, i.e. in solvent/water media) applications. The performance of the membranes was assessed by filtering ethanol (EtOH), iso-propanol (iPrOH), acetonitrile (ACN), dimethylformamide (DMF) or toluene (Tol) solutions containing Rose Bengal (RB), a 1017 Da solute. During these consecutive filtrations, the membranes displayed a solvent activation effect which was characterised by TEM, ATR-FTIR and via intermediate EtOH filtrations. This solvent activation resulted in a more permeable membrane (by a factor of 11), without loss in retention. Drying the membranes from MeOH resulted in a further increase of the RB retention in ACN and Tol to 98%. The stability of the membranes was characterised using SEM, weight loss analysis and ATR-FTIR. In STNF, a 99% RB retention was achieved from a 1:4 DMF/water mixture.