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Nano Lett. 2020 Mar 30. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c00344. [Epub ahead of print]

Precisely Patterned Nanostrand Surface of Cucurbituril[n]-Based Nanofiltration Membranes for Effective Alcohol-Water Condensation.

Tang MJ1,2,3, Liu ML1,2,3, Wang DA1,2,3, Shao DD1,2,3, Wang HJ1,2,3, Cui Z1,2,3, Cao XL1,2,3, Sun SP1,2,3.

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State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering, Nanjing 211816, China.
Jiangsu National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials, Nanjing 210023 China.
College of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211800, China.


Low concentration alcohols produced by state-of-the-art biological fermentation restrict subsequent purification processes for chemical, pharmaceutical, biofuel, and other applications. Herein, a rarely reported cucurbituril[n] (n = 6, 8) is employed to pattern the thin-film composite membranes with controllable and quantifiable nanostrand structures through a host-guest strategy. The resulting nanofiltration membrane with such morphology is the first report that exhibits excellent separation performance for isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and water, condensing the initial 0.5 wt % IPA aqueous solution to 9.0 wt %. This not only provides a novel strategy for patterning nanostructural morphology but also makes nanofiltration membranes promising for alcohol condensation in the biological fermentation industry that may reduce energy consumption and postprocessing costs.


Cucurbituril[n]; biological fermentation; host−guest strategy; nanostrand structures

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