Characterization and retention of NF membranes using PEG, HS and polyelectrolytes

Nidal Hilal, Mohammed Al-Abri, Hilal Al-Hinai, Mousa Abu-Arabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanofiltration (NF) membranes retention depends on charge repulsion and size exclusion, combining the properties of ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis membranes. The molecular weight cut-off of two NF membranes was determined using cross-flow filtration of different molecular weights of non-ionized polyethylene glycol (PEG). Their retention of humic acid (HA), fulvic acid (FA), diallyldimethylammonium chloride and copolymer of dimethyl aminoethyl acrylate was also determined. NF270 membrane's pure water flux was higher than NF90. NF270 also produced lower retention compared to NF90. Observed retention of PEG using NF270 was lower than NF90, but real retention of PEG was higher for NF270 than NF90. This unexpected result is due to the inconsistency of the concentration polarization model. According to the concentration polarization model, real retention determination is dependent on permeate flux (Jv) instead of taking account of membrane flux reduction. The two membranes are supposed to operate at similar flux to overcome this inconsistency. Incomplete retention of poly diallyldimethylammonium chloride (PDADMAC) and copolymer of dimethyl aminoethyl acrylate (CoAA) is due to the presence of their monomers. HA retention is higher than FA because of its higher molecular weight range. NF270 membrane retention of HA and FA is lower than NF90 because of its higher pore size and porosity. Solute retention is constant with increasing pressure due to the competition between concentration polarization and dilution effects at the studied range of trans-membrane pressure (TMP).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-293
Number of pages10
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


  • Characterization
  • Cross-flow filtration
  • Humic substances
  • Nanofiltration
  • Polyelectrolytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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