Polyelectrolyte multilayers films for modification of hollow fiber membranes
- Graduate student: Lu Ouyang (Chemistry, MSU)
- Primary Adviser: Dr. Merlin Bruening (Chemistry, MSU)
- PERMEANT collaboration: Dr. Pierre Aimar (UPS, Toulouse)
Nanofiltration is a key membrane-based water purification technique for applications such as remediation of waste streams and softening of water. In such applications, high rejections of organic molecules or divalent ions are required, but removal of NaCl is not necessary. Thus, compared to reverse osmosis, more permeable membranes can be employed to reduce the energy costs for these separations. We are investigating the use of multilayer polyelectrolyte membranes for water softening nanofiltration applications. These materials are prepared by alternating adsorption of polyanions and polycations on a porous support, and termination of the membrane surface with a polycation allows for higher rejections of divalent cations. More importantly, the minimal thickness of these films allows for high flux.
Current research focuses on investigating the utility of polyelectrolyte films for modification of hollow fibers. Hollow fibers offer high surface areas in a small footprint to allow for treatment of large volumes of solution. Hence, coating of these materials would greatly expand the utility of multilayer polyelectrolyte membranes for water treatment.