Enhancement of flux and solvent stability of Matrimid® thin-film composite membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration

Shi Peng Sun, Tai Shung Chung*, Kang Jia Lu, Sui Yung Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


The development of high flux and solvent-stable thin-film composite (TFC) organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) membranes was reported. A novel cross-linked polyimide substrate, consisting of a thin skin layer with minimum solvent transport resistance and a sponge-like sublayer structure that could withstand membrane compaction under high-pressure was first fabricated. Then the solvent flux was significantly enhanced without compromising the solute rejection by the coupling effects of (1) the addition of triethylamine/camphorsulfonic acid into the monomer solution, and (2) the combined post-treatments of glycerol/sodium dodecyl sulphate immersion and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) filtration. Finally, the long-term stability of the TFC membrane in aprotic solvents such as DMSO was improved by post-crosslink thermal annealing. The novel TFC OSN membrane developed was found to have superior rejection to tetracycline (MW: 444 g/mol) but was very permeable to alcohols such as methanol (5.12 lm-2h-1bar-1) and aprotic solvents such as dimethylformamide (3.92 lm-2h-1bar-1) and DMSO (3.34 lm-2h-1bar-1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3623-3633
Number of pages11
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Interfacial polymerization
  • Organic solvent nanofiltration
  • Polyimide
  • Stability
  • Thin-film composite membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering


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