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Published: Kem. Ind. 56 (11) (2007) 561–567
Paper reference number: KUI-12/2007
Paper type: Original scientific paper
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Characterization of Polymeric Nanofiltration Membranes

I. Petrinić, T. Pušić, I. Mijatović, B. Simončič and S. Šostar Turk


As membrane processes are increasingly used in industrial applications, there is a growing interest in methods of membrane characterization. Traditional membrane characteristics, such as cut-off value and pore size distribution, are being supplemented by membrane surface characteristics, such as charge density or zeta potential and hydrophobicity. This study, therefore, characterizes the three different polymeric membranes used (NFT-50, DL and DK). The molecular mass cut-off (MMCO) value was determined using a set of reference solutes within the molecular range 150–600 Da, whereas streaming potential measurements enabled quantification of the surface charge characteristics. Hydrophobicity was studied using contact angle measurements. The results indicated that even though all three membranes had very similar layer compositions which consisted of poly(piperazneamide), as top layers they showed different values of measured quantitive. The NFT-50 membrane had the lowest MMCO value and the most hydrophilic membrane surface, followed by DK and DL. Membrane fouling as measured by flux reduction was determined by streaming potential measurements and accompanied by a positive change in zeta potential.

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characterization, nanofiltration membrane, MMCO, streaming potential, fouling, contact angle