Poly(ether sulfone) hollow fiber membranes prepared via nonsolvent-induced phase separation using the green solvent Agnique® AMD 3 L
In recent years, the development of sustainable membrane manufacturing processes by the use of environmentally friendly solvents has become a considerable challenge. In this work, poly(ether sulfone) (PES) hollow fiber membranes were manufactured by the nonsolvent-induced phase separation (NIPS) using the green solvent Agnique® AMD 3 L (N,N-dimethyl lactamide; AMD) and N-ethyl-2-pyrrolidone (NEP) as a conventional solvent. The effect of the solvent on the dope solution and membrane properties was investigated. The morphology, mechanical characteristics, barrier pore sizes as well as gas and water permeances of the hollow fibers prepared with AMD were evaluated and compared to membranes that were similarly prepared using NEP as solvent. Membranes prepared with AMD as polymer solvent and NEP as bore liquid exhibit the largest barrier pore size among all variations. Thus, highest water permeance of 406.9 ± 37.4 kg m−2 h−1 bar−1 was obtained with this combination. Whereas AMD as sole solvent in membrane preparation decreases membrane permeances caused by a denser membrane structure. Nevertheless, AMD is a promising solvent for a sustainable membrane fabrication providing membrane properties that are competitive with membranes manufactured using the conventional solvent NEP.