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Role of Nanocomposite Support Stiffness on TFC Membrane Water Permeance.

ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the role played by the mechanical stiffness of porous nanocomposite supports on thin-film composite (TFC) membrane water permeance. Helically coiled and multiwall carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were studied as additives in the nanocomposite supports. Mechanical stiffness was evaluated using tensile tests and penetration tests. While a low loading of CNTs caused macrovoids that decreased the structural integrity, adding higher loads of CNTs compensated for this effect, and this resulted in a net increase in structural stiffness. It was found that the Young's modulus of the nanocomposite supports increased by 30% upon addition of CNTs at 2 wt %. Results were similar for both types of CNTs. An empirical model for porous composite materials described the Young's modulus results. The nanocomposite supports were subsequently used to create TFC membranes. TFC membranes with stiffer supports were more effective at preventing declines in water permeance during compression. These findings support the idea that increasing the mechanical stiffness of TFC membrane nanocomposite supports is an effective strategy for enhancing water production in desalination operations.

SUBMITTER: Idarraga-Mora JA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6315447 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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