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Effect of citrate-based non-toxic solvents on poly(vinylidene fluoride) membrane preparation $$via$$ thermally induced phase separation

Sawada, Shinichi; Ursino, C.*; Galiano, F.*; Simone, S.*; Drioli, E.*; Figoli, A.*

The replacement of commonly-used substances with non-toxic equivalents is attracting a great amount of attention in membrane preparation processes. In order to address this issue, we prepared porous poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes via thermally-induced phase separation using the following non-toxic Citroflex as solvents: acetyl tributyl citrate (ATBC); acetyl triethyl citrate (ATEC); and triethyl citrate (TEC). The pore size of the membranes increased in the following solvent order of ATBC $$<$$ ATEC $$<$$ TEC, which is the same trend of the PVDF/solvent affinity. During the phase separation process, high-affinity solvent molecules should have enough molecular mobility and easily gather with each other to form the large solvent rich phases, thereby producing the large pores. In the pure water microfiltration test using the PVDF membranes, the water permeability can be controlled in the wide range, depending on the pore size.

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Category:Engineering, Chemical

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