Temporal evolution of the selectivity-permeability relationship during porous membrane filtration of protein solutions

Jing Ma, Lanlan Qin, Xiaolei Zhang, Haiou Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Currently, there is no clear understanding on the effects of membrane properties on temporal evolution of membrane selectivity-permeability relationships during microfiltration or ultrafiltration-based water treatment. In this study, porous polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane, polyvinyl chloride membrane, and glass-fiber membrane with distinctive physical and chemical properties were employed to filter bovine serum albumin (BSA) at different pH, coupled with model simulation approaches. Both the experimental results and model prediction showed that, due to the existence of different filtration mechanisms, selectivity of the PVDF membrane and the PVC membrane increase with decreasing permeability, whereas an opposite trend was observed for the glass-fiber membrane. Also, pH strongly affected permeability by changing the zeta potentials of the solutes and the membrane surfaces. Moreover, membrane selectivity was less significantly affected by pH for the polymeric membranes than for the glass-fiber membrane. Practically, high selectivity and permeability may be simultaneously achieved during water treatment by: (1) selection of membranes with suitable pore structure (such as control of solute diameter >1/5 pore diameter); (2) control of feed water condition (such as pH) to suppress intermolecular interactions or solute-membrane interactions, further influence the deposition/adsorption of solute on membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Sep 15 2016


  • Microfiltration
  • Physicochemical interactions
  • Pore structure
  • Selectivity-permeability relationship
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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