SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Emulsion liquid membrane separation processes remain excessively vulnerable to one or more of four major problems. Difficulties lie in developing liquid membranes that combine high levels of both stability and permeability with acceptably low levels of swelling and ease of subsequent demulsification for membrane and solute recovery. This article provides a new technique for simultaneously overcoming the first three problems, while identifying physical indications that the proposed solution may have little adverse effect on the fourth problem (demulsification) and may even alleviate it. Numerous benefits of optimized conversion of the membrane phase into suitable non-Newtonian form are identified, their mechanisms outlined, and experimental verifications provided. These include increased stability, retained (or enhanced) permeability, reduced swelling, increased internal phase volume, and increased stirrer speeds. The highly favorable responsiveness of both aliphatic and aromatic membranes to the new technique is demonstrated.