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AIChE Journal, Vol.66, No.2, 2020
Ultrafast water-selective permeation through graphene oxide membrane with water transport promoters
Graphene oxide (GO), as a representative two-dimensional material, has shown great prospect in developing high-performance separation membranes via forming ordered and tunable nanochannels. However, for aqueous molecular separations, the implementation of an excellent separation performance remains a critical challenge due to the membrane swelling phenomenon and the trade-off effect between permeation flux and separation factor. Herein, a facile and tunable approach is presented for introducing water transport promoters into GO interlayer channels to construct water transport highways. The combination of covalently cross-linked channel structure, facilitated water-selective sorption, and expedited water-preferential diffusion overcome the trade-off effect, achieving a superior performance from an ultrathin GO membrane with a flux of 5.94 kg/m(2)center dot h and a water/butanol separation factor of 3,965, which exceeds the performance of state-of-the-art membranes for water/butanol separation. The strategy proposed here is straightforward, holding great potential to produce high-efficiency GO and other two-dimensional (2D)-material membranes for precise aqueous molecular separations.