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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9802073, 8 pages
Research Article

Development of Flow-Through Polymeric Membrane Reactor for Liquid Phase Reactions: Experimental Investigation and Mathematical Modeling

1Bahir Dar Institute of Technology (BiT), Faculty of Chemical and Food Engineering, Bahir Dar University, 1920 Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
2Laboratoire de Genie Chimique, Universite Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, Toulouse, France

Correspondence should be addressed to Endalkachew Chanie Mengistie

Received 3 August 2017; Accepted 7 November 2017; Published 29 November 2017

Academic Editor: Jose C. Merchuk

Copyright © 2017 Endalkachew Chanie Mengistie and Jean-François Lahitte. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Incorporating metal nanoparticles into polymer membranes can endow the membranes with additional functions. This work explores the development of catalytic polymer membrane through synthesis of palladium nanoparticles based on the approaches of intermatrix synthesis (IMS) inside surface functionalized polyethersulfone (PES) membrane and its application to liquid phase reactions. Flat sheet PES membranes have been successfully modified via UV-induced graft polymerization of acrylic acid monomer. Palladium nanoparticles have been synthesized by chemical reduction of palladium precursor loaded on surface modified membranes, an approach to the design of membranes modified with nanomaterials. The catalytic performances of the nanoparticle incorporated membranes have been evaluated by the liquid phase reduction of -nitrophenol using NaBH4 as a reductant in flow-through membrane reactor configuration. The nanocomposite membranes containing palladium nanoparticles were catalytically efficient in achieving a nearly 100% conversion and the conversion was found to be dependent on the flux, amount of catalyst, and initial concentration of nitrophenol. The proposed mathematical model equation represents satisfactorily the reaction and transport phenomena in flow-through catalytic membrane reactor.