You are on page 1of 12

ABSTRACT The experiment was made to study the characteristics of 4 types of membranes.

The experiment was run using approximately 100 grams of sodium chloride. As the experiment goes, the solution will permeate through the membrane leaving only macromolecules behind. The sample of permeates were taken to determine the weight of permeates per time. Graphs were plotted. INTRODUCTION Membrane separation unit is one of the technologies used to filter solutions like sodium chloride to make salt. Other filtration systems include reverse osmosis, the process to make drinking water. Other industrial applications based on membrane separation are the membrane-based gas separation which will remove contaminants from industrial process gas streams and post combustion flue gas. The theory of membrane separation is that pressure of the solution will end up permeating water through the membrane whilst rejecting the solute behind for which the solute has a bigger molecular size and weight. In this experiment, we used SOLTEQ Membrane Test Unit (Model TR:14) to demonstrate the technique of membrane separations which has become highly popular as they provide effective separation without the use of heating energy as in distillation processes. The experiment will test 4 different types of membranes; the reverse osmosis (RO), nanofiltration (NF), ultrafiltration (UF) and microfiltration (MF) membranes. OBJECTIVES To study the different characteristics of 4 types of membranes.

THEORY Membrane separation technology has evolved from a small-scale laboratory technique to a largescale industrial process during the past 30 years. A classification of major types of membrane processes is given in Figure 1. Numerous theoretical models for ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis has been proposed along with the identification of new factors controlling flux or mass transfer through membranes. The basic operating patterns are best outlined in terms of the hydrodynamic resistance resulting from the buildup of deposited materials in the membrane surface.

Figure 1 The flux J will be given by: ( ) ( )


For most biological materials, is a variable depending on the applied pressure and time (the compressible deposit), so that the expression requires a numerical solution. A useful method for the effects of cross-flow removal of depositing materials is to write: ( ) ( )

Removal of the solute by cross-flow is sometimes assumed constant and equal to the convective particle transport at steady state ( ) which can be obtained experimentally or from an appropriate model. In many situations however, steady state of filtration is seldom achieved. In

such cases, it is possible to describe the time dependence of filtration by introducing an efficiency factor , representing the fraction of filtered material remaining deposit rather than being swept along by the bulk flow. This gives: ( ) Although the deposition also occurs during ultrafiltration, an equally important factor controlling flux is concentration polarization. (Figure 2)

Figure 2 Solution containing macromolecular gel-forming solute will form a gel on the surface of the membrane. The gel formation will contribute to the formation of dynamic membranes. The mechanism is as follows: Due to convective flux through the membrane a concentration of the solution at the surface Cw increases and eventually reaches a gel formation concentration Cg. The flux J through the membrane depends on a concentration according to the relationship: ( ) Combining equations (1) and (4), ( ) ( )

As long as concentration Cw is less than Cg, Cw will increase with pressure, but the moment Cw equals Cg, an increase in brings out an increase of the layer resistance , and the flux will no longer vary with pressure. Assuming no fouling effect, the membrane resistance equation below: can be calculated from the flux

( ) The slope obtained from the plot of flux J vs. is equal to

The retention of any solute can be expressed by the rejection coefficient, R. ( ) ( ) Where is final macrosolute concentration in retentate

( )

Is initial macrosolute concentration is initial volume is final retentate volume This expression assumes complete mixing of retentate seldom accomplished due to concentration polarization. The apparent rejection coefficient depends on factors affecting polarization including UF rate and mixing. For material entirely rejected, the rejection coefficient is 1 (100% rejection); for freely permeable material it is zero. Rejection is a function of molecular size and shape. Nominal cut-off levels, defined with model than by more open membranes. For maximum retention of a solute, select a membrane with nominal cut-off well below the MW of the species. Many biological macromolecules tend to aggregate so that effective size 3 may be much larger that the native molecule, causing increased rejection. Degree of hydration, counter ions and steric effects can cause molecules with similar molecular weights to exhibit very different retention behavior.

APPARATUS SOLTEQ Membrane Test Unit (Model: TR14) Digital Weighing Balance Beaker 100 grams sodium chloride Water Stopwatch

PROCEDURES General Start-Up Procedures 1. All valves are ensured to be initially closed. 2. A sodium chloride solution is prepared by adding 100 gram of sodium chloride into 20L of water. 3. The feed tank is then filled up with the prepared salt solution. The feed temperature was always maintained at room temperature. 4. Power for the control panel is then turned on. All sensors and indicators are checked to be functioning properly. 5. Thermostat is being switched on and the thermo level oil is ensured to be above the coil inside the thermostat. The thermostat connections are checked to be properly fitted. The temperature at the thermostat is adjusted to maintain its temperature. Experiment Procedures 1. The general start-up procedures are performed. 2. Experiment for Membrane 1 is started. Valves V2, V5, V7, V11, and V15 are being opened. 3. Plunger pump (P1) is switched on and V5 is slowly closed to set the maximum working pressure at 20 bars. The pressure value is observed at the pressure gauge and the pressure regulator is adjusted at 20 bars. A proper wrench is used to turn the adjusting screw at the pressure regulator (PR1) by turning clockwise to increase pressure and counter-clockwise to reduce it. 4. Valve V5 is then opened. The membrane is set to the maximum inlet pressure of 18 bars by adjusting the retentate control valve V15. 5. The system is let to run for 5 minutes and sample is being collected from the permeate sampling port and weigh the sample using digital weighing balance. The weight of permeates are recorded every 1 to 10 minutes. Valves V19 is opened simultaneously with the closing of V11.

6. Steps 1 to 5 are repeated for Membrane 2, 3 and 4. The respective sets of valves are opened and closed and the membrane maximum inlet pressure for every membrane was adjusted. 7. Graph of permeate weight versus time is plotted. Membrane Open Valves Sampling Retentate Membrane (step 2) Valves control valve maximum inlet pressure (bar) 1 V2, V5, V7, Open V19 and V15 18 V11 and V15 close V11 2 V2, V5, V8, Open V20 and V16 12 V11 and V16 close V12 3 V2, V5, V9, Open V21 and V17 10 V11 and V17 close V13 4 V2, V5, V9, Open V22 and V18 8.5 V11 and V18 close V14 General Shut-Down Procedures 1. 2. 3. 4. Plunger pump (P2) is switched off. Valve 2 is closed. All liquids in the feed tank is drained out by opening valves V3 and V4. All piping is flushed with clean water. V3 and V4 is closed and the feed tank is filled with clean water until 90% full. 5. The system is run with the clean water until the feed tank is nearly empty for cleaning purposes.

RESULTS Raw Data Time (min) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Membrane 1 1.05 1.22 1.32 1.55 1.84 2.03 2.22 2.29 2.52 2.58 Weight of Permeates (g) Membrane 2 Membrane 3 6.75 134.50 7.64 289.00 8.31 437.15 9.05 569.20 10.03 688.30 10.84 800.13 10.87 908.45 14.26 1009.00 16.88 1102.50 20.97 1189.13 Membrane 4 274.85 568.40 869.80 1167.64 1467.90 1758.61 2045.20 2337.15 2623.75 2959.11


Membrane 1 Weight of Permeates vs. Time

Weight of Permeates (g) 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Time (min)

Graph 1: Weight Of Permeates Versus Time through Membrane 1 (Reverse Osmosis)

Membrane 2 Weight of Permeates vs. Time

25 Weight of Permeates (g) 20 15 10 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Time (min)

Graph 2: Weight Of Permeates Versus Time through Membrane 2 (nanofiltration)

Membrane 3 Weight of Permeates vs. Time

1400 Weight of Permeates (g) 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Time (min)

Graph 3: Weight Of Permeates Versus Time through Membrane 3 (ultrafiltration)

Membrane 4 Weight of Permeates vs. Time

3500 Weight of Permeates (g) 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Time (min)

Graph 4: Weight Of Permeates Versus Time through Membrane 4 (microfiltration)

DISCUSSION In this experiment, we were to characterize the differences between four types of membranes, which are the reverse osmosis RO, nanofiltration NF, ultrafiltration UF and microfiltration MF. Membrane separation is a process of which a solution sample and water is run through a semipermeable membrane that allows them to separate. The separated water will equilibrate the system, which is commonly known as osmotic pressure. When a mechanical force is applied to exceed the osmotic pressure, the water is forced to move from low concentration to higher concentration. Permeates designates the liquid passing through the membrane and retentate, or concentrate designates the fraction to not pass through the membrane. The graph plotted shows that only a small amount of permeate are collected from membrane 1 which is reverse osmosis while more permeate sample is collected with time from membrane 2; nanofiltration and increased weights of permeate collection as it pass through membrane 3 and 4 which are ultrafiltration and microfiltration. This can be concluded due to the fact that the pores of each membrane are different in sizes will affect the performance. Membrane 1 and 2 has the smallest pore sizes whilst Membrane 3 and 4 has the bigger sizes. Pressure and temperature are also factor that affects permeates output.

CONCLUSION This experiment was a success overall and conclusions can be made. 1. Based on the theory, the weight of permeates collected from membrane 1 and 2 can be different due to different maximum inlet pressure of each membrane. 2. Pressure and temperature plays a big role to the value of sample collected and membrane separation efficiency. 3. The objective of this experiment is successfully achieved. RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Leftover sodium chloride in membrane 1 should be dried first before the starting of experiment for membrane 2 to avoid leaking during the experiment. 2. The membranes must be cleaned before and after usage to avoid fouling which might affect the results. 3. The amount of permeates should be recorded at the approximate moment to avoid inaccuracy.


REFERENCES 1. SOLTEQ Equipment for Engineering Education & Research 2. RTI International Membrane Separation Technologies 3. Ridgway, Harry F. (Ph.D) (Advanced Membrane Technologies Stanford University, 2008) 4. Pure &App/. Chem., Vol. 67, No. 6, pp. 993-1002, 1995. Printed in Great Britain. Q 1995 IUPAC



SOLTEQ Membrane Test Unit (Model: TR14)