Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Sci Technol. 2009 Apr 1;43(7):2400-6.

Influence of solute-membrane affinity on rejection of uncharged organic solutes by nanofiltration membranes.

Author information

Department of Sanitary Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5048, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands.


A simple, analytical method for predicting transport of uncharged organic solutes through nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes is presented in this paper. The method requires characterization of key solute and membrane parameters-namely, solute size, membrane pore size, and solute-membrane affinity. All three parameters can be experimentally determined from relatively simple permeation tests and contact angle analyses. The parameters are fed into an analytical model of solute transport, which accounts for hindered convection and diffusion of solutes in the membrane pores, as well as the combined effects of steric exclusion and solute-membrane affinity on solute partitioning from the feed solution into the membrane pores. Overall model predictions for organic solute rejection agreed well with experimental data for three different solutes and two different polymeric NF membranes. Further, the model demonstrates the dramatic influence of solute-membrane affinity on organic rejection by NF and RO membranes. Solute transport predictions made assuming only steric exclusion significantly overestimated rejections for solutes with strong affinity for membrane polymers and similarly underestimated rejections for solutes that were strongly repelled by membrane polymers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center