Interfacially Polymerized Thin-Film Composite Membranes Based on Biophenolic Material for Liquid Separation

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Abstract: The aim of this research is to fabricate thin-film composite (TFC) membranes using a synthetic derivative of plant-based phenols, as a non-toxic building block for interfacial polymerization. Classical interfacially polymerized composite membranes are heavily integrated in reverse osmosis and nanofiltration applications for water and wastewater treatment and most recently for chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Implementing sustainable practices in membrane fabrication by exploiting greener alternatives to conventional chemicals can directly reduce hazardous waste and ultimately lower the global energy and environmental burdens. In this study, allyl gallate was chosen as a monomer to form selective thin films by the interfacial reaction with trimesoyl chloride on top of an asymmetrically porous polyacrylonitrile support. The advantage of the unreacted allyl groups is that they can be in the future used as post-functionalization sites. The highly volatile organic phase solvents were additionally replaced by an isoparaffinic fluid, commercially known as Isopar G. The chemical composition and morphology of the membrane was evaluated using solid-state 13C NMR, FTIR, and SEM. The optimized membrane resulted in a permeance of 12±2 and 48±14 L m-2 h-1 bar-1 for respectively pure water and methanol with a rejection in the nanofiltration range.
Date of AwardJul 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorSuzana Nunes (Supervisor)


  • Membrane
  • Interfacial Polymerization
  • Green Chemistry
  • Biophenol
  • Post Synthesis

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