Effect of polyvinylpyrrolidone molecular weights on morphology, oil/water separation, mechanical and thermal properties of polyetherimide/polyvinylpyrrolidone hollow fiber membranes

Authors

  • Zhen-Liang Xu,

    1. Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
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  • Tai-Shung Chung,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
    2. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
    • Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
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  • Yu Huang

    1. Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
    2. Department of Civil Engineering and Building, Singapore Polytechnic, 500 Dover Road, Singapore 139651
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Abstract

We prepared polyetherimide (PEI) hollow fiber membranes using polyvinylpyrrolidones (PVP) with different molecular weights (PVP 10,000, PVP 40,000, and PVP 1,300,000) as additives for oil/water separation. Asymmetric hollow fiber membranes were fabricated by wet phase inversion technique from 25 wt % or 30 wt % solids of 20 : 5 : 75 or 20 : 10 : 70 (weight ratio) PEI/PVP/N-metyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) solutions and a 95 : 5 NMP/water solution was used as bore fluid to eliminate resistance on the internal surface. Effects of PVP molecular weights on morphology, oil-surfactant-water separation characteristics, mechanical, and thermal properties of PEI/PVP hollow fiber membranes were investigated. It was found that an increase in PVP molecular weight and percentage in PEI/PVP dope solution resulted in the membrane morphology change from the finger-like structure to the spongy structure. Without sodium hypochlorite posttreatment, hollow fiber membranes with higher PVP molecular weights had a higher rejection but with a lower water flux. For oil-surfactant-water emulsion systems (1600 ppm surfactant of sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate and 2500 ppm oil of n-decane), experimental results illustrated that the rejection rates for surfactant, total organic carbon, and oil were 76.1 ≈ 79.8%, 91.0 ≈ 93.0%, and more than 99%, respectively. Based on the glass transition temperature values, PVP existed in hollow fiber membranes and resulted in the hydrophilicity of membranes. In addition, using NaOCl as a posttreatment agent for membranes showed a significant improvement in membrane permeability for PVP with a molecular weight of 1300 K, whereas the elongation at break of the treated hollow fiber membranes decreased significantly. © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 74: 2220–2233, 1999

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