Microstructures in phase inversion membranes: Part II. The role of a polymeric additive

R.M. Boom, I.M. Wienk, Th. van den Boomgaard, C.A. Smolders

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Membranes were prepared from a casting solution of a water-soluble polymer, poly (vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP), and a membrane forming polymer, poly (ether sulfone), in 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) as solvent by immersing them in mixtures of water and NMP. It was found that the addition of PVP to the ternary system suppresses the formation of macrovoids in the sub-layer, while the ultrafiltration-type top-layer consists of a closely packed layer of nodules. Using a model for pass transfer in this quaternary system, it is possible to explain the effects of the additive on macrovoid formation. Strong indications are found that the appearance of a nodular structure in the top-layer follows a mechanism of spinodal decomposition during the very early stages of the immersion step.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-292
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of membrane science
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1992


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