Solvent-resistant polyimide aerogel film as ultrapermeable support for thin-film composite and covalent organic framework nanofiltration membranes

Jiahui Hu, Sushil Kumar, Rifan Hardian, Cong Yang, Gyorgy Szekely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) membranes require robust selective layers and support materials. In this study, polyamide and polyester thin-film composites (TFCs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) were fabricated as selective layers on a polyimide aerogel support. The ultrapermeable support was stable in various organic solvents including harsh polar aprotic solvents such as N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), dimethylsulfoxide, N,N-dimethylacetamide, and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone for more than six months. The support enabled fabricating both amorphous and crystalline selective layers at both room and higher temperatures. Moreover, the polyimide aerogel support had 85% porosity, facilitating high solvent flux. The compatibility of the selective layers and support was excellent, and as low molecular weight cutoff values (MWCO) as 356 and as high as 591 g mol−1 were obtained in methanol at 10 bar for the COFs and polyester TFC membranes, respectively. Both experimental MWCO and permeance values of the COF membrane agreed with those predicted using the pore flow model. The effect of the operating temperature on the OSN performance was examined in DMF at 20 and 100 °C. Both membranes demonstrated constant permeance and rejection for more than nine days of continuous filtration.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122162
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - Sep 23 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-09-04
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Fig. 1, Fig. 2, and the graphical abstract, were created by Dr. Thom Leach, scientific illustrator at Amoeba Studios and KAUST. The authors express their gratitude to the KAUST Core Lab staff for their help during the characterizations and data processing.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Filtration and Separation
  • Analytical Chemistry


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