Ultrafiltration by gyroid nanoporous polymer membranes

Li Li, Piotr Przemyslaw Szewczykowski, Lydia D. Clausen, Kristian M. Hansen, Gunnar Eigil Jonsson, Sokol Ndoni

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Gyroid nanoporous cross-linked 1,2-polybutadiene membranes with uniform pores were developed for ultrafiltration applications. The gyroid porosity has the advantage of isotropic percolation with no need for structure pre-alignment. The effects of solvent and surface photo-hydrophilization on permeation and molecular weight cut-off were investigated. Gas permeation followed the Knudsen diffusion scheme, while water flux across the originally hydrophobic membrane could be described by a generalized Hagen–Poiseuille equation. A series of PEGs of different molecular weights were used to explore the effect of membrane fouling on the flux decline and rejection profiles. Significant fouling occurred in the case of hydrophobic membranes in contact with water solutions, while in the presence of high concentration of ethanol in the filtration solution and in the case of hydrophilized membranes the fouling was reduced. The observed rejection of PEG was compared with theoretic predictions, as described by the Bungay–Brenner model. The model satisfactorily described the rejection profile of PEG up to 12kg/mol through hydrophobic membranes in the presence of excess ethanol. A significantly reduced rejection relative to model expectation was found for the hydrophobic membrane in water. For the hydrophilized membrane a sharp increase in rejection from 1kg/mol to 4kg/mol was observed, which only in part could be captured by the model.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)126-135
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Fouling
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Nanoporous membranes
  • Gyroid
  • Adsorption
  • Block copolymers

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