Fast formation of strong symmetric poly (vinylidene fluoride) membranes via a modified VIPS method

Ping Hong Li, Konstantinos G. Beltsios, Jenn Fang Su*, Liao Ping Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Polymer membranes for microfiltration and membrane distillation should be skinless and symmetric with a bi-continuous structure. To effectively eliminate the inherently formed skin layer and macrovoids in the membrane, proper modifications of preparation parameters are proposed. Methods: Skinless microporous poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes with a uniform bi-continuous structure were fabricated through phase inversion processes that combine vapor-induced phase separation (40 °C and 70% relative humidity) and non-isothermal immersion precipitation (22 °C) with casting dopes consisting of triethyl phosphate (TEP), PVDF, and a small amount of glycerol, a nonsolvent. Significant findings: Introduction of glycerol to the dope solution induces a rapid polymer crystallization upon exposure to water vapor. Experimental results demonstrate that a skinless microporous membrane can be obtained with a short vapor exposure time of 1.5 min. Additionally, the synthesized membrane possesses ideal filtration properties, including high hydrophobicity (contact angle = 113° for both surfaces), high porosity (83%), adequate strength (2.4 N/mm2), and suitable pore size (0.12 μm). This membrane also exhibits superb rejection capability (99%) and high permeation flux (450 LMH) for filtration of poly(methyl methacrylate) particles with an average size of 0.15 μm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104877
JournalJournal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers
StatePublished - 05 2024
Externally publishedYes

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  • Bi-continuous structure
  • Filtration
  • PVDF
  • Skinless membrane
  • Vapor-induced phase separation


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