Selective Laser Assisted Impairment of Reverse Osmosis Membranes

Publication date: Available online 21 February 2020Source: MethodsXAuthor(s): Bogdan C. Donose, Ashwin Vijayan Premavally, Marie-Laure Pype, Katrin DoedererABSTRACTMonitoring the loss of integrity in reverse osmosis (RO) membranes is crucial for protection of public health as small imperfections can result in catastrophic pathogen outbreaks. However, understanding the phenomena accompanying the loss of integrity in RO membranes relies on properly characterizing and interpreting performance data. Reproducing chemical and mechanical damage in model membranes that mimic the conditions of real-time operation is difficult. Mechanical impairment is particularly challenging, since one needs to damage selectively and in a controlled manner (producing holes of desired size) the barrier (polyamide) and/or the support layer (polyether sulfone and polyester). In this work we develop a straightforward approach to produce arrays of micro-holes in a commercially available RO membrane employing nanosecond pulsed laser ablation. The new approach is used to prepare four samples with different number of holes with constant diameter and increasing hole depth. These samples were further tested to reveal the impairment impact on filtration performance. It was observed that the flux was linked with the laser pulse density/penetration.•Uniform radius defects were created in RO membranes•Higher pulse density leads to deeper defects•Ablation of all three layers can be attained
Source: MethodsX - Category: Science Source Type: research

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