Ligand and Solvent Selection for Enhanced Separation of Palladium Catalysts by Organic Solvent Nanofiltration

Junjie Shen, Kai Beale, Ida Amura, Emma A.C. Emanuelsson

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8 Citations (SciVal)


Organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) has been widely applied to separate and recycle homogeneous catalysts, but the influence of ligand and solvent selection on the performance of OSN is not fully understood. Here we prepared four palladium (Pd) catalysts by combining palladium acetate with four ligands of different molecular weights. Morphological and functional properties of the Pd catalysts were characterized by TEM, FTIR, and NMR. OSN experiments were conducted in a lab-scale dead-end filtration rig. Two commercial OSN membranes, PuraMem S600 (PS600) and DuraMem 500 (D500), were used to separate the Pd catalysts from different organic solvents (toluene, isopropanol, butanol/water, and methanol) that are specified to be compatible with, respectively. For both membranes, the pure solvent permeance was positively related to the degree of membrane swelling induced by the solvent. The solvent permeance decreased significantly after the addition of a solute, as a result of membrane fouling and concentration polarization. For the PS600 membrane, the Pd rejection in any solvent was closely correlated to the molecular weight of the ligand, which agrees with the pore-flow model. For the D500 membrane, on the other hand, there was no conclusive link between the Pd rejection and the type of ligand. The one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) confirmed that the separation processes in PS600 and D500 membranes were controlled by different transport models. The findings shed light on the selection of ligand and solvent in OSN in order to enhance the separation of homogeneous catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number375
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2020


  • homogeneous catalysis
  • ligand
  • organic solvent nanofiltration
  • palladium
  • separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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