Detection of free primary amines in TFC membranes by microscopic fluorescence imaging

A. Pihlajamaki, Y. Shabtai, J. Gilron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A microscopic imaging method using the fluorescent binding agent, fluorescamine, has been applied to determine the presence and location of primary amines in the selective layer of TFC polyamide RO membranes. The presence of such amines is attributed to incomplete condensation reactions in the preparation of the membrane's active layer for fully aromatic TFC membranes. The concentration of free amines is greatest in the section of the active layer most distant from the external membrane surface. The free amines are effectively removed by combining rinsing with application of oxidation agents. As delivered in spiral wound modules they have already been removed to a large extent. In flat sheet membrane they still contain various extents of free amine depending on the membrane type and the supplier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • Fluorescent imaging
  • Free amine
  • Polyamide
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Thin film composite (TFC) membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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