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DISCUSSION

This experiment has been done to fulfil the objective which is to perform a
characteristic study on four different types of membrane. In doing this experiment, the
apparatus used to accomplish the objective is SOLTEQ Membrane Test Unit (Model: TR14).
This unit has been designed to demonstrate the technique of membrane separations which has
become highly popular as it provide separation in effective way without using heat energy as
used in distillation process. Heat sensitive materials, such as fruit juices can be separated or
concentrated by virtue of their molecular weight.
In this unit, there are four types of membrane which each of them is differ with each
other. The four membranes I, II, III and IV are namely first, reverse osmosis (RO),
nanofiltration (NF), ultrafiltration (UF) and lastly microfiltration (MO) membranes
respectively while in the case of membrane type are AFC99, AFC40, CA202 and FTP100
respectively. Every type of this membrane has its own characteristics which differ in each
other as shown in table below;
Membrane

Material

type

Max

Max

Max

Apparent

Hydro

Solvent

pH

pressure

Temperatur

Retention

Philicity

Resistance

Rang

(bar)

character

AFC99

Polyamide

1.5-12

64

80

99% NaCl

++

Polyamide

1.5-

60

60

60% Ca

++

Film

9.5

Cellulose

2-7.25

25

30

2000 MW

1.5-12

10

80

100,000M

+++

Film

AFC40

CA202

Cl2

Acetate

FP100

PVDF

W
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From the table above, its show that each membrane type has different characteristic.
The first characteristics are based on its material. Membrane I and membrane II were made up
from the same element which is Polyamide Film while the other two membranes were made
up from cellulose acetate and PVDF. Polyamide film (membrane I and II) is known as its
permeability to water and its relative impermeability to various dissolved impurities including
salt ions and other small non-filterable molecules. Membrane III is made of cellulose acetate
which has an extremely low binding characteristic that made it ideal for protein and enzyme
filtrations. The material that membrane IV is made of is polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF).
PVDF is a material that can provide high protein and nucleic acid binding capacity. In terms
of maximum pH range, membrane I and IV have the maximum capacity of range while
membrane II and II were the least. While in properties of maximum operating pressure,
membrane IV shows the least operation while membrane I is the most maximum operating
unit in term of pressure.
The other characteristics of the membrane is apparent retention character with
membrane I rated as 99% NaCl rejection, membrane II with 60% CaCl 2 rejection, membrane
III with 2,000 MWCO and membrane IV with 100,000 MWCO. Furthermore, the membranes
are characterized with their own hydrophilicity level. Hydrophilic membrane is a membrane
that has an attractive response to water and can readily adsorb water. This allows the material
to be wetted forming a water film or coating on the surface of the membrane. Hydrophobic
membrane is the opposite of it. Usually hydrophilic membrane has more charge than
hydrophobic membrane. Membrane III has the highest hydrophilic property followed by
membrane II, I and IV. These mean that membrane IV has the highest hydrophobic property
and usually known as hydrophobic membrane. In addition, membrane IV became the highest
solvent reistent other than the three membrane (I, II and III).
In doing this experiment, approximately about 100mL sodium chloride has been used
as the reagent (feed). The membrane has been set to a certain maximum pressure inlet for a
safety regulation so as not to exceed the maximum operation pressure of the membrane. Then,
the sample from permeate was collected for 10 minutes. In each 1 minute interval, the weight
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of permeate was recorded. After the 10 minutes past, these steps were carried out again for the
others membranes unit. All the data got from this experiment was tabulated in the table in
result section. From the result, it shows the increasing in weight of permeate with time (as
time increase, weight of permeate increase) for all four membranes. Permeate is actually a
part of the feed stream that passed through the membrane, while a part of the feed that did not
pass through the membrane is called the retentate. In the graph plotted, it shows that there are
different permeation rate for each of membrane, with membrane IV has the highest
permeation rate followed by membrane II, I and lastly III. Thus, permeates moves faster
through membrane IV and slower in membrane III. The high permeation rate of membrane 4
is most probably due to its hydrophobic property, whereas the low permeation rate of
membrane 3 is most probably due to its hydrophilic property. The membrane separates a wide
range of particle sizes ranging from monoions to macromolecules.
In doing this experiment, the result get may be not 100% accurate although it follows
the theory. The error could be due to the lack of attention in doing the experiment, such as not
alert in taking the record in 1 minutes interval and not accurate in adjusting the maximum
inlet pressure. This experiments can be improve by followed the recommendations suggested
at recommendation sections.

CONCLUSSIONS
As the conclusions, it can be said that the increase and decrease in the membrane were
almost similar to each other. Even though it was kind of hard to be detected, however, if the
graph were properly analyzed, the curves for each and one of the membranes were almost the
same. However, the only things that distinguish these curves were the value plotted in each
curve. It can be seen based on the graph plotted; the value plotted for the first membrane was
the smallest. The value of the weight collected for each membrane increases along with the
membranes used. It can be seen that the forth membrane carried the largest value of weight of
the collected. This shows that every membrane will give out the same pattern at the outlet
however, only the values of the weight were different from each other. Therefore, this shows
that the separation process was the fastest in the forth membrane and the first membrane was
the slowest.