Fabrication and performance of PET mesh enhanced cellulose acetate membranes for forward osmosis

Guoliang Li , Jun Wang , Deyin Hou , Yu Bai , Huijuan Liu


Received August 07, 2015,Revised November 22, 2015, Accepted November 25, 2015, Available online February 06, 2016

Volume 28,2016,Pages 7-17

Polyethylene terephthalate mesh (PET) enhanced cellulose acetate membranes were fabricated via a phase inversion process. The membrane fabrication parameters that may affect the membrane performance were systematically evaluated including the concentration and temperature of the casting polymer solution and the temperature and time of the evaporation, coagulation and annealing processes. The water permeability and reverse salt flux were measured in forward osmosis (FO) mode for determination of the optimal membrane fabrication conditions. The optimal FO membrane shows a typical asymmetric sandwich structure with a mean thickness of about 148.2 μm. The performance of the optimal FO membrane was tested using 0.2 mol/L NaCl as the feed solution and 1.5 mol/L glucose as the draw solution. The membrane displayed a water flux of 3.47 L/(m2·hr) and salt rejection of 95.48% in FO mode. While in pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) mode, the water flux was 4.74 L/(m2·hr) and salt rejection 96.03%. The high ratio of water flux in FO mode to that in PRO mode indicates that the fabricated membrane has a lower degree of internal concentration polarization than comparable membranes.

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