The effect of low molecular weight additives on the properties of aromatic polyamide membranes



Salts contained in aromatic polyamide solutions were found to have a considerable effect on the performance and structure of reverse osmosis membrannes cast from these solutions. As in cellulose acetate membranes, certain salts greatly increase membrane fluxes without a detrimental effect on rejection. Highly dissociated salts such as LiClO4 or Mg(ClO4)2 exert a stronger influence than the commonly used LiCl. With mixtures of different salts, stronger effects may be obtained than with a single additive. Many experimental facts indicate that the “salt effect” in aromatic polyamide membranes is due to a general effect on solvent activity and thus on the kinetics and equilibria associated with evaporation and coagulation process.