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Posted: Sep 17, 2012

Modified cellulose acetate nanofilters applied to separate poison from water

(Nanowerk News) Researchers successfully synthesized and modified the performance of cellulose acetate nanofilter membranes in order to separate nitro-aromatic poisons from water (see paper in Desalination: "Fabrication of cellulose acetate/sodium dodecyl sulfate nanofiltration membrane: Characterization and performance in rejection of pesticides").
Membrane processes, especially nanofiltration, have been used in this research as useful methods due to their advantages such as high performance in water and wastewater purification and the re-use of polluted waters, higher efficiency in separation, ease of operation, lack of the need for chemical compounds, and being cost-effective.
Due to its high hydrophilicity, desirable resistance against solvents, and low cost, cellulose acetate polymer is one the choices of the researchers in order to synthesize nanofilter membranes.
However, the membranes synthesized of this polymer are relatively dense and they have a surface layer with high thickness. It results in noticeable reduction in the passing flux and also in decrease in the overall performance of the nanofilter membrane.
"In this research, cellulose acetate nanofilter membrane was firstly synthesized by using ion separation method. Then, the anionic surfactant of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) was used in order to modify the structure and properties of the membrane. And finally, the two important parameters of flux and percentage of nitro-aromatic poison permeation under various environmental circumstances were studied in order to evaluate the final efficiency of the nanofilters," Dr. Negin Qae'mi, member of the Scientific Board of Chemical Engineering School of Kermanshah University of Technology, stated about the research,
Elaborating on the results of the research, she said, "Significant increase in the porosity as well as a decrease in the thickness of the surface layer of nanofilters was clearly observed in this research. The mentioned changes in addition to the desirable increase in the hydrophilicity and surface charge of the nanofilters result in the simultaneous increase in the flux passing through the membrane and the permeability of the poisons."
Source: INIC
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