The effects of flow angle and shear rate within the spinneret on the separation performance of poly(ethersulfone) (PES) ultrafiltration hollow fiber membranes

Kai Yu Wang, Takeshi Matsuura, Tai-Shung Chung*, Wei Fen Guo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of dope flow rate and flow angle within a spinneret during spinning hollow fiber membranes on the morphology, water permeability and separation performance of poly(ethersulfone) ultrafiltration hollow fiber membranes were investigated. For this purpose, two spinnerets with different flow angles were designed and used. The dope solution, containing polyethersulphone (PES)/N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)/diethylene glycol (DG) with a weight ratio of 23/41/36, which was very close to its cloud point (binodal line), was used in order to speed up the coagulation of nascent fibers so that the relaxation effect on molecular orientation was reduced. The wet-spinning process was purposely chosen to fabricate the hollow fibers without extra drawing. Therefore, the effects of gravity and elongation stress on fiber formation could be significantly reduced and the orientation induced by shear stress within the spinneret could be frozen into the wet-spun fibers. Experimental results suggest that higher dope flow rates (shear rates) in the spinneret produce UF hollow fiber membranes with smaller pore sizes and denser skin layers due to the enhanced molecular orientation. Hence, the pore size and the water permeability decrease, but the solute separation increases. Hollow fibers spun from a conical spinneret have smaller mean pore sizes with larger geometric standard deviations, thus exhibiting lower water flux and greater solute separation than hollow fibers spun from a traditional straight spinneret. In addition, SEM studies indicate macrovoids response differently for the 90°straight and 60°conical spinnerets when increasing the dope flow rate. Macrovoids can be significantly suppressed and almost disappear in the 90°spinneret at high dope flow rates. This phenomenon cannot be observed for the 60°conic spinneret.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-79
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume240
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004

Keywords

  • Flow angle
  • Macrovoids
  • Polyethersulfone
  • Pore size
  • Shear rate
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

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