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Keywords:

  • EG/water mixtures;
  • glutaraldehyde;
  • Perva-poration;
  • PVA/PP composite membrane

Abstract

Composite membranes consisting of a crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol)(PVA) active layer on top of a porous polypropylene (PP) support were prepared with glutaraldehyde as a crosslinking reagent. The degree of crosslinking and the thickness of the active layer were determined with attenuated total reflection–Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy, respectively. The membranes were used in the pervaporation dehydration of ethylene glycol (EG)–water mixtures. The effects of the crosslinker content and operational conditions, including feed EG concentration and operating temperature, on the permeation flux and selectivity of the PVA–PP composite membranes were investigated. We observed that the dehydration of a 80 wt % EG mixture at temperature of 60°C, a feed flow rate of 1.5 L/min, and a vacuum pressure of 10 mmHg could be effectively performed, and a moderate permeation flux and a high separation factor were obtained, that is, 0.91 kg m−2 h−1 and 1021, respectively. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011