Date of Completion
forward osmosis; pressure retarded osmosis; thin film composite membrane; interfacial polymerization; electrospinning; nanofiber; nylon 6, 6;
Jeffrey R. McCutcheon
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Osmotically driven processes are emerging membrane based processes that can be applied to harnesses the natural phenomenon of osmosis to address global issues related to water and energy. However, these processes have not progressed beyond conceptualization and lab scale studies due to obstacles in membrane and draw solution design, system integration and scale-up, and definitive process economics. This study focuses on addressing the primary obstacle to technology advancement: the lack of adequately designed membrane. Departing from conventional design strategy of polyamide composite membrane for osmotically driven processes that primarily focus on re-design of support structures, this dissertation presents one of the first known studies incorporating new chemistry into the membrane support design. Two classes of intrinsically or modified hydrophilic nylon 6,6 support platforms: conventional phase-inversion casting films and electrospun nanofiber mats were employed to generate high performance thin film composite membranes specifically tailored for osmosis processes. Furthermore, this work shed new insight on new membrane development and scale-up by understanding the role of support structure on selective layer formation, as well as identifying and addressing the major issues associated with processing nanofiber based membranes. It would eventually enable widespread adoption of this emerging technology platform in sustainable water and energy production.
Huang, Liwei, "Novel Hydrophilic Nylon 6,6 Supported Thin Film Composite Membranes for Osmotically Driven Processes" (2015). Doctoral Dissertations. 741.