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Discussion

The objective of the experiment is to study the characteristic of 4 different types of membranes. The 4 types of membranes used is Polyamide film (membrane 1 and 2), Cellulose acetate ( CA 202), polyvinylidene difluoride( membrane 4). Membrane separation is a process which selectively separate (fractionates) materials via pores and/or minute gaps in the molecular arrangement of a continuous structure. Membrane separations are classified by pore size and by the separation driving force. These classifications are: Nanofiltration (MF), Ultrafiltration (UF), and Reverse Osmosis (RO). The transport processes of a membrane are divided into passive and active transport. The transports are initiated by driving forces that allows the diffusion of compounds through membrane. There are two driving forces which are thermodynamic driving force and external driving force. The results obtained from the experiments showed that membrane 4 has the highest rate of mass transfer which is 488.18 g/min. For membrane 1 the rate of mass transfer is 44.3 g/min, membrane 2 (90.74g/min), and membrane 3 (26.36g/min). The difference of rate of mass transfer is due to the different size of pores of each membrane. The characteristic study on the four of the membrane can be observed and determined by the difference in the size of pores. .Increasing the pore size will increases the filtration rate because more fluids and solutes can pass through the membrane. From the rate of mass transfer the type of separation can also be determined. For the membrane 4, since the membranes have the highest rate of mass transfer the type of separation involves is ultrafiltration. An ultrafiltration filter has a pore size around 0.01 micron. A microfiltration filter has a pore size around 0.1 micron, so when water undergoes microfiltration, many microorganisms are removed, but viruses remain in the water. Ultrafiltration would remove these larger particles, and may remove some viruses. For membrane 3, the rate of mass transfer is the lowest. Thus the type of the separation involved is reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis filters have a pore size around 0.0001 micron. After water or any substance passes through a reverse osmosis filter, it is essentially pure water. In addition to removing all organic molecules and viruses, reverse osmosis also removes most minerals that are present in the water. Reverse osmosis removes monovalent ions, which means that it desalinates the water.

Since the rate of mass transfer of membrane 1 is lower than membrane 2 the type of separation/filtration involved is nanofiltration and microfiltration respectively. A nanofiltration filter has a pore size around 0.001 micron. Nanofiltration removes most organic molecules, nearly all viruses, most of the natural organic matter and a range of salts. Nanofiltration removes divalent ions, which make water hard, so nanofiltration is often used to soften hard water. Microfiltration is a low-pressure cross-flow membrane process for separating colloidal and suspended particles in the range of 0.05-10 microns. Microfiltration is used for fermentation broth clarification and biomass clarification and recovery. The results obtained showed that the larger the size of the pore the higher the rate of diffusivity and the rate of mass transfer. There were some errors happened during the experiment. The pressure taken isnt accurate since the equipment keeps on vibrating and hinders us from getting a wanted pressure. There were some liquid flow and drop on digital weighing balanced thus effects the actual weight of permeate. The equipment used vibrates too much during the experiment and effect the reading on the digital weighing balance. The reading must be taken every 1 minute in 10 minutes but it was hard to take the reading accurately because the reading changes too fast thus affect the result.

Conclusion
The characteristic of the pores could be observed and determined through the difference of pore size for each of the membrane. The larger the size of the pore, the higher the filtration rate since more solute can pass through the membrane. Thus we can conclude that the larger the size of the pore, the higher the rate of mass transfer.