Development of novel thin film composite reverse osmosis membranes for desalination
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Microporous Polyetherimide (PEI) membranes were prepared by wet phase inversion at different temperatures. The thin film composites (TFC) of polyamide on microporous PEI were prepared using meta-Phenylenediamine (MPD) and 1,3,5-Benzenetricarbonyl chloride (BTC). The ATR FTIR characterization showed the formation of polyamide (PA) on microporous PEI membrane, whereas scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that a thin film of polyamide is formed on microporous PEI. The cross-sectional SEM of PEI prepared at 60 °C, showed finger like morphology and sparingly distributed balloon like morphology for PEI synthesized at 80 °C. The performance of PEI membranes and PA TFCs were ascertained by studying permeation of water and rejection of sodium chloride by reverse osmosis. The polyamide TFC with hydrophobic PEI support structures exhibited permeation of 28 to 50 lm-2h-1, with 98 – 95 % 2000 ppm NaCl rejection at 60 bar pressure.