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Covalent organic frameworks (COFs)-incorporated thin film nanocomposite (TFN) membranes for high-flux organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN)

Li, Can, Li, Shuxuan, Tian, Long, Zhang, Jinmiao, Su, Baowei, Hu, Michael Z.
Journal of membrane science 2019 v.572 pp. 520-531
ambient temperature, aqueous solutions, artificial membranes, crosslinking, ethanol, hydrophilicity, nanocomposites, nanofiltration, nanoparticles, organochlorine compounds, permeability, polyamides, polymerization, rhodamines, solutes, solvents
This paper reports a new class of thin film nanocomposite (TFN) membranes incorporated with covalent organic frameworks (COFs) nanoparticles in the polyamide skin layer and having enhanced solvent (ethanol) permeation flux and high solute rejection for organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN). These OSN membranes were prepared via interfacial polymerization of m-phenylenediamine (MPD) and trimesoyl chloride with the presence of COFs nanoparticles in the MPD aqueous solution, followed by chemical crosslinking and solvent activation. The prepared TFN membranes exhibited an improved surface hydrophilicity and a decreased skin layer thickness, which leading to a 46.7% increment in the ethanol permeance (up to 79.8 L m−2 h−1 MPa−1) compared to those COFs-free membranes, as well as an increased Rhodamine B (479 Da) rejection (up to 99.4%). Moreover, our prepared TFN OSN membranes exhibited an excellent solvent resistance after being statically immersed in N, N-dimethylformamide (DMF) at ambient temperature over 100 days, and after being consecutively cross-flow filtrated using Rose Bengal/DMF solution at ambient temperature over 7 days, both with no significant changes in the separation performance. Furthermore, they showed only minor decrease in flux and rejection after being statically immersed in DMF at 80 °C over 14 days, which provides a strong potential in OSN applications.