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Abstract

The effects of temperature of casting solution in the range −10° to 15°C, that of casting atmosphere in the range 10° to 30°C, relative humidity of casting atmosphere in the range 35% to 75%, and solvent evaporation period in the range 0.5 to 3 min were studied on shrinkage temperatures, solute separations, and product rates of Loeb-Sourirajan-type cellulose acetate membranes in reverse osmosis experiments. The composition of casting solution used was as follows: cellulose acetate, 17; acetone, 69.2; magnesium perchlorate, 1.45; and water, 12.35 wt-%. Best performance was obtained with membranes cast under the following conditions: temperature of casting solution, 10°C; temperature of casting atmosphere, 30°C; relative humidity of casting atmosphere, 65%; and solvent evaporation period, 1 min. For a 90% level of solute separation, the productivities of the above type of membranes were 22.9, 61.4, and 64.5 gallons/day-ft2 at 250, 600, and 1500 psig using 3500 ppm NaCl–H2O, 5000 ppm NaCl–H2O, and 28395 ppm NaCl–H2O feed solutions, respectively. In all cases, the feed flow rates corresponded to a mass transfer coefficient of 45 × 10−4 cm/sec on the high-pressure side of the membrane. The general specifications of the above type of membranes are given for the operating pressures of 250, 600, and 1500 psig. The effects of the above casting condition variables on the surface pore structure during film formation are discussed.