Molecular Weight Cut-Off Determination of Organic Solvent Nanofiltration Membranes Using Poly(propylene) Glycols

  • Chris Davey (Creator)



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A new method for determining the molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) of an organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) membrane has been developed utilising poly(propylene) glycol (PPG) oligomers. This new MWCO method overcomes the limitations of the currently popular methods: namely the high molecule cost in the popular polystyrene method, the Donnan Exclusion effects when using dye molecules and the solvent compatibility and HPLC separation resolution limitations of the lesser used poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG) method. A new reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography separation with evaporative light scattering detection (ELSD) allows the concentration of each oligomer of PPG to be accurately determined and from this the MWCO curves are constructed. The method has a high resolution (size increment of 58 g mol-1 corresponding to the OCH(CH3)CH2 structural unit) and can be used in polar, polar aprotic, and non-polar solvents. The accuracy of the method has been demonstrated in three different solvents (methanol, acetone, and toluene) and 5 different OSN membranes (DuraMemTM 150, 200, 500, PuraMemTM 280 and StarMemTM 240). Other advantages include; oligomers of PPG are cheap and widely available, can probe a wide range of MWCO and provide high resolution MWCO curves. Consequently, it is proposed that that this method be adopted as a new standard MWCO test for OSN membranes.
Date made available2016
PublisherUniversity of Bath

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