Institute of Functional Interfaces

Quantifying concentration polarization – Raman Microspectroscopy for In-SituMeasurement in a flat Sheet cross-flow Nanofiltration Membrane Unit

  • chair:

    Jung, O. / Saravia, F. / Wagner, M. / Heißler, S. / Horn, H. (2019)

  • place:

    Scientific Reports, 2019, 9, 15885

  • Date: November 2019


In this work, the concentration polarization layer (CPL) of sulphate in a cross-flow membrane system was measured in-situ using Raman microspectroscopy (RM). The focus of this work is to introduce RM as a new tool for the study of mass transfer inside membrane channels in reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) generally. Specifically, this work demonstrates how to use RM for locally resolved measurement of sulphate concentration in a cross-flow flat-sheet NF membrane flow cell with channel dimensions similar to commonly applied RO/NF spiral wound modules (channel height about 0.7 mm). Concentration polarization profiles of an aqueous magnesium sulphate solution of 10 gsulphate·L−1 were obtained at operating pressure of 10 bar and cross-flow velocities of 0.04 and 0.2 m·s−1. The ability of RM to provide accurate concentration profiles is discussed thoroughly. Optical effects due to refraction present one of the main challenges of the method by substantially affecting signal intensity and depth resolution. The concentration profiles obtained in this concept study are consistent with theory and show reduced CPL thickness and membrane wall concentration with increasing cross-flow velocity. The severity of CP was quantified to reach almost double the bulk concentration at the lower velocity.