13 June 2023
A new Scientific Publication has been approved and published on Journal of Frontiers in Sustainability and was written by intelWATT’s Project Coordinator, Andreas Sapalidis and some partners.
The article is entitled “State-of-the-art review of porous polymer membrane formation characterization—How numerical and experimental approaches dovetail to drive innovation”.
Porous polymer membranes substantially contribute to an acceleration of sustainability transformation based on the energy efficient separation of liquid and gaseous mixtures. This rapid shift toward sustainable industrial processes leads to an increased demand for specifically tailored membranes. In order to predict membrane performance factors like permeability, selectivity and durability, the membrane formation process by film casting and phase inversion needs to be understood further. In recent years, computational models of the membrane formation process have been studied intensely. Their high spatial and temporal resolution allows a detailed quantitative description of phase inversion phenomena. New experimental techniques complement this development, as they provide quantitative data, e.g., on compositional changes of the polymer solution during membrane formation as well as the kinetic progression of the phase separation process. This state-of-the-art review compiles computational and experimental approaches that characterize the phase inversion process. We discuss how this methodological pluralism is necessary for improving the tailoring of membrane parameters, but that it is unlikely to be the way to the ultimate goal of a complete description of the evolution of the membrane structure from the initial demixing to the final solidification. Alternatively, we formulate an approach that includes a database of standardized and harmonized membrane performance data based on previously publicized data, as well as the application of artificial neural networks as a new powerful tool to link membrane production parameters to membrane performance.