This laboratory focuses on the development of new thin-film composite membranes using interfacial polymerization methods for water processes (reverse osmosis and nanofiltration) as well as non-aqueous separations with organic solvents. Designing membranes for liquid separations relies on precise evaluation of membrane performance under different operating conditions, as it is generally quite difficult to predict performance based solely on the chemical characteristics of the monomers or polymers used in making the membrane. This laboratory is equipped with versatile filtration units that can be easily configured and rearranged to match most testing requirements including high-pressure applications.
Dead-end filtration units featuring stainless steel Sterlitech stirred cells (up to 69 bar delivered by an inert gas cylinder) are useful for quickly determining pure water and organic solvent fluxes of any type of membrane coupons ranging.
Two versatile bench-scale filtration systems each containing up to 9 Sterlitech cross-flow cells (maximum pressure of 69 bar or 1000 psig) can be configured to test membrane coupons under reverse osmosis or nanofiltration conditions.
This in-house built experimental apparatus allows testing membranes under different osmotic processes such as forward osmosis (FO), pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) and pressure-assisted forward osmosis (PAFO).