Studies on effect of irradiation on semipermeable membranes



The effect of γ irradiation on reverse osmosis (RO) semipermeable membranes has been studied in order to evaluate their performance under the radiation environment arising in the processing of various streams in nuclear industry by reverse osmosis process. Both cellulosic and noncellulosic membranes in dry as well as wet conditions were used. A Co60 source was used for γ doses from kilorads to megarads. The transport properties, namely, salt retention and water flux of membranes determined before and after irradiation, suggested deterioration in the membrane properties due to irradiation. The tensile strength and viscosity of membrane polymer also suggested membrane degradation. Differential scanning calorimetry was taken to look into any structural changes in the membrane polymer as a result of irradiation. IR spectra and X-ray of membrane polymer was also undertaken to understand the changes on the molecular level.