Hindered diffusion of flexible polymers through polyimide ultrafiltration membranes

M.A.M. Beerlage, J.M.M. Peeters, J.A.M. Nolten, M.H.V. Mulder, H. Strathmann

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17 Citations (Scopus)
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The hindered diffusion of polystyrene in dilute solutions of ethyl acetate through polyimide ultrafiltration membranes has been investigated. The present system did not show specific membrane-solute interactions; furthermore, polystyrene can be considered as a flexible polymer coil. It is shown that the hindered diffusive permeability for monodisperse dilute solutions for a series of molecular weights can be compared well with the diffusive permeability curve of one polydisperse dilute polystyrene solution. In the case of very dilute solutions, the polymer coils have no interaction with each other, and the whole range of molecular-weight-dependent permeabilities can be determined from only one measurement. The diffusion behavior of polydisperse solutions through various polyimide membranes has been investigated as well. It was found that the diffusive permeability curve is strongly dependent on the type of membrane, that is, on the pore size distribution. It was not possible to calculate a pore size distribution from diffusion experiments due to mathematical limitations. Nevertheless, it was shown that hindered diffusion measurements are useful to estimate a maximum pore size for each membrane.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1180-1193
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of applied polymer science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Hindered diffusion
  • Ultra filtration
  • Membrane characterization


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