Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering

First Advisor

Kamalesh K. Sirkar

Second Advisor

Piero M. Armenante

Third Advisor

Boris Khusid


Interfacial polymerization (IP) is a powerful technique for fabrication of thin film composite (TFC) membranes. In this study, polyamide nanofiltration (NF) composite membranes ware prepared by interfacial polymerization of polyethylenimine (PEI) or m­phenylene diamine (MPD) with isophthaloyl dichloride (IPD) on the surface of a porous polyethersulfone (PES) support. Concentrations of monomer reactants for this reaction were decided by equivalent weight ratio. A standard IP procedure was applied to successfully coat PES flat films. After preparation, three different post-polymerization treatments were employed and one optimal treatment was proven after membrane testing.

The TFC flat film membranes were characterized by nanofiltration of brilliant blue R (MW 826) and safranin O (MW 351) dyes in water. For testing the performance of new TFC membranes, transmembrane pressures ranging from 69 kPa to 413 kPa were used to detect solvent permeation flux and solute rejection at different pressures. The solvent permeation flux and the solute rejections were time dependent for an extended initial period; the membranes had to be compacted at a higher pressure to achieve nearly steady-state results. Furthermore, the collected data from the optimized nanofiltration membrane showed stable and supreme performance.

Differently from PEI that is a polymer, m-phenylene diamine (MPD) could also react with IPD to form TFC NF film by acting as monomer. By mixing MPD and PEI in different ratios in the aqueous phase and then reacting the new aqueous solution with the organic phase containing IPD, new TFC NF membranes were prepared. The performances of these membranes having different MPD/PEI ratios were investigated by solute rejection and solvent flux determined.