LIN Liangshi, CAI Yihua, SUN Xiuwu, CHEN Min. On the integrity of a commercial cassette ultrafiltration membrane: implications for marine colloidal biogeochemistry[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2014, 33(9): 109-116. doi: 10.1007/s13131-014-0521-7
Citation: LIN Liangshi, CAI Yihua, SUN Xiuwu, CHEN Min. On the integrity of a commercial cassette ultrafiltration membrane: implications for marine colloidal biogeochemistry[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2014, 33(9): 109-116. doi: 10.1007/s13131-014-0521-7

On the integrity of a commercial cassette ultrafiltration membrane: implications for marine colloidal biogeochemistry

doi: 10.1007/s13131-014-0521-7
  • Received Date: 2013-03-28
  • Rev Recd Date: 2013-10-16
  • The performance and integrity of a cassette cross-flow ultrafilter (Pellicon 2, Millipore) are examined with a suite of macromolecules of different molecular masses. The retention coefficient during the cross-flow ultrafiltration experiments increases with increasing molecular mass and reaches 90% with 10 kDa dextran in both milli-Q water and ultrafiltered seawater media. Based on a 90% retention coefficient, the molecular mass cut-off for the ultrafiltration membrane is defined at 10 kDa, which is ten times (1 kDa) that rated by the manufacturer. To further validate the accuracy of the laboratory calibration, the samples from the lower Zhujiang River and the Jiulong River Estuary are ultrafiltered with the cassette ultrafiltration membrane and the colloidal organic carbon abundances in these samples are quantified with the ultrafiltration permeation model based on time series permeation subsamples. The colloidal organic carbon abundances are 5.8%-21.1% in the Jiulong River Estuary and 5.6%-11.0% in the lower Zhujiang River. These are consistent with the reported values for both estuaries as well as with the colloidal organic carbon abundances in marine environments over the coastal and open oceans with 10 kDa cut-off membranes. Therefore, these field data support the laboratory calibration result and indicate the validity of the experimental and quantification procedure adopted. The discrepancy between the nominal molecular mass cut-off and the actual pore size of the ultrafiltration membrane should be of great concern for research in colloidal and nanoparticle biogeochemistry. Careful examination of the membrane integrity should be taken during ultrafiltration experiments in order to avoid misleading molecular mass cut-off information.
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