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Handbook of Industrial Membrane Technology

Handbook of Industrial Membrane Technology

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Published by Masha Nikolova

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Published by: Masha Nikolova on Jan 29, 2012
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In certain aqueous streams, the retention of charged species may be enhanced
without sacrificing the filtration rate by using charge modified membranes. Since
most particles are negatively charged, these membranes are usually positively
charged. Normally a crosslinking epoxy resin with cationic functional groups
(e.g., quarternary ammonium groups) is used to impart the charge. The com-
bination of electrokinetic adsorption with mechanical sieving is claimed to result
in significant improvements
in retention.

84 Handbook of Industrial Membrane Technology

The most significant claim is for the removal of “pyrogens” (endotoxins).
Table 2.6 ” compares the pyrogen removal efficiency for a positively charged
nylon 0.2 p pore size membrane, ZetaporTM, and a conventional cellulosic 0.22 p
membrane. Normally, a 10,000 molecular weight cut-off UF membrane is re-
quired to remove pyrogens. (These membranes have an equivalent pore-size of
30 A or 0.003 or). As expected, the conventional MF membrane shows no reten-
tion whatsoever, but the positively charged membrane shows better than 97%
retention.

Table 2.6: Pyrogen Removal by “Charged” Membranes

~1

Racedure: E. coli purified cndotoxin was added to 0.9% NaCl solution at pH 6.7
and passed through filters contained in a25mm
filter holder.

It is also claimed that positively charged 1.2 p pore size MF membranes will
retain
Pseudomonas diminuta. Data from Pall Corp.‘s on their 1.2 p Ne6
PosidyneTM membrane show better than 99.99% retention of Pseudomonas.
Their conventional 1.2 p ULTIPOR Nh6TM membrane (without the charge) re-
tained less than 50% of the Pseudomonas. In both cases, challenges between
2 x lOlo and 7 x 1Ol2 bacteria per square foot of filter area were used. This
means that comparable removal of Pseudomonas can be achieved with more than
10 times the flow rate of a 0.2 p pore-size membrane.
Further, if all of the particles retained are considerably smaller than the
rated pore size (say less than 25%) and no larger particles are present, the mem-
brane does not clog even with the processing of very high volumes. The small
particles do not “bridge” and cause only a slight change in the pore diameter.
The difficulty is that, with use, the filtration efficiency of these positively-
charged membranes begins to drop. As the membrane adsorbs more and more
negatively-charged particles the adsorption sites (cationic functional groups) are
used up. Just as a saturated ion-exchange resin is incapable of further retention
of ions, the membrane begins to pass negatively charged particles. Figure 2.19l’
shows the decline in retention for 0.2 p latex particles.
Similarly, high flow rates (pressure drops) through the membrane may strip
the negative particles away from the membrane (see Figure2.20).19The hydraulic
shear forces have overcome the electrostatic attraction.
For critical applications, one cannot afford to guess when the adsorption
capacity is used up. However, in some cases, a positively charged membrane of
larger pore size than the final membrane may be used as a prefilter, decreasing
the load on the “absolute” filter and extending its life. For example, it is re-
ported that a 3 p positively charged prefilter can extend the life of a 0.2 cc final
membrane filter by a factor of 2- to 6-fold.‘s

Microfiltration

85

ASYMMETRIC

POLYSULFONE

3s%=QT@

B.

CHARGED

NYLON

LATEX SIZE 0.196 MICRONS
COUNT 5 x 1O’O PARTICLES/ML

1

I

I

I

I

t

2

4

6

6

10

12

VOLUME, ml

Figure 2.19: Retention of 0.2 micron latex particles by “charged” and uncharged
membranes as a function of volume filtered.

l-

I -

0

0

ASYMMETRIC

POLYSULFONE

CHARGED NYLON

LATEX SIZE 0.196 MICRONS
COUNT 6 x 10’0 PARTICLES/ML

I

I

I

10

20

30

PRESSURE

Figure 2.20: Retention of 0.2 micron latex particles by “charged”and uncharged
membranes as a function of filtration pressure.

86 Handbook of Industrial Membrane Technology

Alternatively, two positively charged membranes may be used in series. The
adsorption capacity of the upstream filter will be exhausted first. When the ef-
fluent from this filter begins to show passage, it is replaced by the downstream
filter. A new filter is then placed in the downstream position.
Negatively charged membranes are also available. The
fractionation wpabil-
ity of “tortuous-pore membrane ” is enhanced considerably by using filters with
a zeta potential of the
same sign as the particles (usually negative). It should be
noted that untreated nylon membranes have a negative zeta potential at pH val-
ues above 6.5 (see Figure 2.21).18

Figure 2.2
branes.

-25

\

-30

\,

PH

1: Zeta potential of positively charged and uncharged nylon mem-

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