Building Additional Passageways in Polyamide Membranes with Hydrostable Metal Organic Frameworks To Recycle and Remove Organic Solutes from Various Solvents

Membrane separation is a promising technology for extracting temperature-sensitive organic molecules from solvents. However, a lack of membrane materials that are permeable toward organic solvents yet highly selective curtails large-scale membrane applications. To overcome the trade-off between flux and selectivity, additional molecular transportation pathways are constructed in ultrathin polyamide membranes using highly hydrostable metal organic frameworks with diverse functional surface architectures. Additional passageways enhance water permeance by 84% (15.4 L m–2 h–1 bar–1) with nearly 100% rose bengal rejection and 97.6% azithromycin rejection, while showing excellent separation performance in ethyl acetate, ketones, and alcohols. These unique composite membranes remain stable in both aqueous and organic solvent environments. This immediately finds application in the purification of aqueous mixtures containing organic soluble compounds, such as antibiotics, during pharmaceutical manufacturing.