Journal of membrane science vol:156 issue:1 pages:29-41
Because of the growing interest in nanofiltration for industrial use, a better insight in the retention mechanisms in nanofiltration is needed, which will make it possible to understand membrane performances for specific applications. In this paper, the retention of a series of organic molecules by four nanofiltration membranes was studied. The membranes that were used are NF70 (Dow/FilmTec), NTR 7450 (Nitto-Denko), UTC-20 (Toray Ind.) and Zirfon(R) (VITO). In order to correlate the retention with the size of the molecule, which is the main factor that determines the retention, use was made of different parameters for the molecular size: molecular weight, the Stokes diameter, the equivalent molar diameter, and a diameter obtained with energy minimisation calculations. For each size parameter, the correlation with retention in nanofiltration experiments was calculated. For the Zirfon(R) membrane, retentions were too low to obtain a good correlation. For the three other membranes, a good correlation with retention was found for each of the size parameters. Two other factors were found to have an influence on retention of organic molecules: the polarity of the molecule, and the charge of the molecule. The importance of these factors depends on the molecules as well as on the type of membrane. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.