The asymmetric membranes based on cellulose acetate are mainly applied for separations in aqueous systems and in reverse osmosis processes, although they can also be used in the so-called salinity process of energy generation. These applications require membranes with considerable water permeability and high salt rejection. In this paper the improvements resulting from the addition of two different types of fibers on the permeability performance of the membranes (water permeability and salt rejection) as well as on mechanical properties are presented. Concerning the water permeability and salt rejection, the influence of four different contents of cellulosic fibers (CF) and anionic diethylaminoethyl cellulose (DEAE) fibers has been studied and the optimum value was chosen after measuring water permeability and salt rejection of the membranes. To study the mechanical performance, membranes with six different contents of these two types of fibers were produced. Both permeability and mechanical test results obtained for membranes with different contents of fibers were compared with the ones for the membranes produced from the same solution but without fibers. In terms of permeability tests, the membranes with 0.5 wt % CF fibers present the best results, with water permeability 22.8% higher than the membrane without fibers, while the salt rejection only decreases by 7.3%. Concerning the mechanical properties, the best membrane would be the one with 3 wt % CF fibers, however the membrane with 0.5 wt % CF fibers still present a toughness 18.9% higher than the membrane without fibers.
- Mechanical properties
- Power production