A range of commerical UF membranes have been characterized by thermoporometry, biliquid permporometry and molecular weight cut-off experiments. A comparison of results from these three independent techniques for the same types of membrane shows an indication of the strength and weakness of the methods. MWCO values determined from actual rejection values using PEG and dextran were significantly lower than the manufacturer supplied data. The data obtained using the biliquid permporometry and solute rejection tests produced contrasting results for Amicon polysulfone (PM30) and regenerated cellulose (YM30) membranes. While MWCO determination resulted in sharper cut-off curves, the biliquid permporometry offered a broader size distribution with the PM30 and vice versa with the YM30. The pore sizes obtained by thermoporometry were significantly larger than those by the biliquid permporometry. The biliquid permporometry and thermoporometry give significantly higher values than the MWCO method. The closest comparison is obtained between the EM values and the MWCO method. This suggests that the controlling pore dimension for separation is the surface skin dimension.
- molecular weight cut-off
- pore characterization
- Ultra filtration
- Microporous and porous membranes