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Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 26;6:36078. doi: 10.1038/srep36078.

A Carbonaceous Membrane based on a Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIM-1) for Water Treatment.

Kim HJ1, Kim DG2,3, Lee K2,3, Baek Y1, Yoo Y2,3, Kim YS2,3, Kim BG2,3, Lee JC1.

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School of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Institute of Chemical Processes, Seoul National University, 599 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea.
Advanced Materials Division, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, 141 Gajeongro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34114, Republic of Korea.
Department of Chemical Convergence Materials, University of Science and Technology, 217 Gajeongro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34114, Republic of Korea.


As insufficient access to clean water is expected to become worse in the near future, water purification is becoming increasingly important. Membrane filtration is the most promising technologies to produce clean water from contaminated water. Although there have been many studies to prepare highly water-permeable carbon-based membranes by utilizing frictionless water flow inside the carbonaceous pores, the carbon-based membranes still suffer from several issues, such as high cost and complicated fabrication as well as relatively low salt rejection. Here, we report for the first time the use of microporous carbonaceous membranes via controlled carbonization of polymer membranes with uniform microporosity for high-flux nanofiltration. Further enhancement of membrane performance is observed by O2 plasma treatment. The optimized membrane exhibits high water flux (13.30 LMH Bar-1) and good MgSO4 rejection (77.38%) as well as antifouling properties. This study provides insight into the design of microporous carbonaceous membranes for water purification.

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