Nanofiltration Separations


Anna Jawor Department of Chemical and Environemental Engineering, University of California--Riverside

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The term “nanofiltration” (NF) generally refers to a class of pressure-driven membrane separation processes whereby nanometer- or larger-sized substances may be selectively removed from a carrier fluid. The name “nanofiltration” is derived from two phrases. The prefix “nano” means 1 billionth. Hence, 1 nm has a value of 10− 9 m or 10 Å. The suffix “filtration” refers to a process whereby solutes are physically separated from a solvent by passing the solution through a semipermeable barrier or medium. The review that follows intends to introduce the reader to the basic concepts of nanofiltration separations, the material properties of NF membranes, the common applications of NF separations, the theory and models describing NF separation performance, and some performance limitations.