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Membranes (Basel). 2019 Dec 6;9(12). pii: E169. doi: 10.3390/membranes9120169.

A Study of Ralex Membrane Morphology by SEM.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Voronezh State University, Universitetskaya pl.1, 394018 Voronezh, Russia.
Department of Physical Chemistry, Kuban State University, ul. Stavropolskaya 149, 350040 Krasnodar, Russia.
MEGA a.s., Pod Vinicí 87, 471 27 Stráž podRalskem, Czech Republic.


A comparative analysis of the effect of the manufacturing technology of heterogeneousion-exchange membranes Ralex CM Pes manufactured by MEGA a.s. (Czech Republic) on the structural properties of their surface and cross section by SEM was carried out. The CM Pes membrane is a composite of a sulfonated ion-exchanger with inert binder of polyethylene and reinforcing polyester fiber. In the manufacture of membranes Ralex the influence of two factors was investigated. First, the time of ion-exchange grain millingvaried at a constant resin/polyethylene ratio. Second, the ratio of the cation-exchanger and the inert binder of polyethylene varied. It has been found that the membrane surface becomes more electrically homogeneous with the growth of the ion-exchanger loading and a decrease in its particle size. With an increase in the milling time of resin grainsfrom 5 to 80 min a more than 1.5-fold decrease in their radius and in the distance between them was revealed.Besides, there is a 1.5-fold decrease in the fraction, as well as in the size of pores and structure defects. The fraction of the ion-exchange phase on the membrane surface decreases by 7%. With an increase in the resin loading from 45 to 70 wt %, the growth of the fraction of conducting regions on the surface is almost twofold, while their sizes remain practically unchanged. More significant changes in the surface structure of the studied membranes are established in comparison with the cross section.An increase in the resin content in the membranes from 45 to 70 wt % corresponds to a 43% increment of its fraction on the cross-section.The increase in the ion-exchanger content of Ralex membranes is accompanied by the growth of the fraction of macropores and structure defects on the membrane surface by 70% and a twofold decrease in the distance between conducting zones.


Ralex ion-exchange membrane; microscopic analysis; structural inhomogeneity

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