Characterization and quantification of structure and flow in multichannel polymer membranes by MRI


Polymeric multichannel hollow fiber membranes were developed to reduce fiber breakage and to increase the volume-to-membrane-surface ratio and consequently the efficiency of filtration processes. These membranes are commonly used in ultrafiltration and are operated in in-out dead-end mode. However, some of the filtration details are unknown. The filtration efficiency and flow in the multichannel membranes depend on filtration time and are expected to vary along spatial coordinates. In the current work, in-situ magnetic resonance imaging was used to answer these questions. Velocities were quantified in the feed channels to obtain a detailed understanding of the filtration process. Flow and deposits were measured in each of the seven channels during filtration of sodium alginate, which is a model substance for extracellular polymeric substances occurring in water treatment. Volume flow and flow profiles were calculated from phase contrast flow images. The flow in z-direction in the center channel was higher than in the surrounding channels. Flow profiles variate depending on the concentration of Ca2+, which changes the filtration mechanism of aqueous solutions of sodium alginate from concentration polarization to gel layer filtration.




Schuhmann, S.,, Jeffrey W. Simkins, N. Schork, Sarah L. Codd, Joseph D. Seymour, M. Heijnen, F. Saravia, H. Horn, H. Nirschl, G. Guthausen, “Characterization and Quantification of Structure and Flow in Multichannel Polymer Membranes by MRI.” Journal of Membrane Science 570–571 (January 2019): 472–480. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2018.10.072.
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