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Fabrication of Cellulose Acetate Membrane using Cyrene as Green Solvent

Forward osmosis technology is promising molecular separation processes employing osmotic pressure difference of two solutions separated by a membrane. Membrane for forward osmosis application has a semipermeable property which selectively passes the certain molecules while reject others. Cellulose triacetate and cellulose acetate are common polymers that are often used in the fabrication of forward osmosis membranes. However, the solvent traditionally used in the fabrication of forward osmosis membrane is a toxic organic solvent. Cyrene™ (C6H8O3) is a solvent derived from cellulose and is an environmentally friendly solvent because it does not leave sulfur and nitrogen emissions. This work is investigating the fabrication of forward osmosis membranes based on cellulose triacetate and cellulose acetate via phase inversion methos, by using Cyrene as solvent. Various composition of the polymers and the green solvent were evaluated. The properties of forward osmosis membranes were characterized by its morphology by scanning electron microscopy and its performance based on water flux and reverse solute flux.

Keywords: green membrane; cellulose triacetate; cellulose acetate; Cyrene™; forward osmosis
Comments on this paper
Ana Maria Diez-Pascual
Very interesting topic. Which is the main adventage of using Cyrene versus other environmentally friendly solvents (if there are any for the indicated application)?
Yusuf Wibisono
Thank you for your comment and good question.

During polymeric membrane synthesis, the solubility parameter or affinity of solvent-polymer is essential. In this case, Cyrene as green solvent could be used to replace toxic solvents such as NMP. We could use different green solvents like methyl lactate or Tamisolve as long as the solubility parameter could fit with the polymer.