Effects of filter structure, flow velocity, particle concentration and fouling on the retention efficiency of ultrafiltration for sub-20 nm gold nanoparticles

Handol Lee, Doris Segets, Sebastian Süß, Wolfgang Peukert, Sheng Chieh Chen, David Y.H. Pui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ultrafiltration techniques with membranes of pore sizes under 100 nm have been widely applied in drinking water, wastewater, semiconductor and pharmaceutical process water treatments for nanoparticle (NP) and pathogen removal. The most direct way to evaluate the membrane performance is to experimentally obtain the size fractional retention efficiency. However, the real-life performance of the membrane in terms of fouling (or loading) characteristics and the effects of the concentration of challenging particles and rate of flux (or filtration velocities) on the filtration efficiency during fouling have not been well understood. In this study, systematic filtration experiments for filtration efficiency at clean and loaded conditions were conducted for three different 50 nm rated membrane filters, including PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), PCTE (Polycarbonate Track-Etched) and MCE (Mixed Cellulose Ester) membranes, against 5, 10 and 20 nm Au NPs at different feed concentrations and fluxes. The results showed that the effects of feed concentration and flux are significant. This study provides important insights of retention mechanisms and efficiency for different ultrafiltration membrane structures at varied filtration velocities and fouling characteristics giving clear directions of future NP ultrafiltration research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116689
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Volume241
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2020

Keywords

  • Concentration effects
  • Diffusion deposition
  • Fouling effects
  • Surface interactions
  • Ultrafiltration

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