- Artificial membrane
An artificial membrane, also called a synthetic membrane, is a membrane prepared for separation tasks in
laboratoryand industry. Its active part, which permits selective transport of material, usually consists of polymers or ceramics, seldom glassor metals. A membrane may contain auxiliary parts for mechanical support, drainage, patch etc.
The driving force of the material transport is given by
concentration, pressure, electrical or chemicalgradient across the membrane. Membranes can be prepared in the form of flat sheets, tubes, capillaries and hollow fibres. Membranes are built in membrane systems like plate and frame, spiral-wound module, hollow fibre module, tube-in-shell module. Some of the most common artificial membranes are polymeric membranes. Under some conditions ceramic membranescan be utilized with advantage.
Such membranes are employed in a wide range of
membrane operations, such as microfiltration, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, pervaporation, gas separation, dialysisor chromatography. The applications depend on the type of functionality incorporated in the membrane, which can be based on size-exclusion, chemical affinityor electrostatics.
Typical applications in which membranes have been used are
water purification, removal of microorganismsin dairy products, water desalination, dehydrogenationof natural gas, hemodialysisor as components of fuel cells.
Membrane electrode assembly
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