Physical–chemical properties, separation performance, and fouling resistance of mixed-matrix ultrafiltration membranes
KAUST Grant NumberKUS-C1-018-02
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AbstractHerein we report on the formation and characterization of mixed-matrix ultrafiltration (UF) membranes hand-cast by nonsolvent induced phase inversion. We evaluated nanometer-to-micrometer sized inorganic fillers (silver, copper, silica, zeolite, and silver-zeolite) materials with polysulfone (PSf) as the polymeric dispersing matrix. In general, mixed-matrix membranes were rougher, more hydrophilic, and more mechanically robust. Only sub-micron zeolite-PSf mixed-matrix membranes exhibited simultaneous improvements in water permeability and solute selectivity; all other mixed-matrix membranes were more permeable, but less selective due to defects associated with poor polymer-filler binding. Protein and bacterial fouling resistance of mixed-matrix membranes containing silver, zeolite, and silver-zeolite nanoparticles were compared to a low-fouling, poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN) UF membrane. Zeolite and silver containing membranes exhibited better protein fouling resistance (due to higher hydrophilicity), whereas silver and silver-zeolite based membranes produce better bacterial fouling resistance due to antimicrobial properties. Overall, zeolite-PSf and silver exchanged zeolite-PSf membranes offered the best combination of improved permeability, selectivity, and fouling resistance - superior to the commercial PAN membrane. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
CitationHoek EMV, Ghosh AK, Huang X, Liong M, Zink JI (2011) Physical–chemical properties, separation performance, and fouling resistance of mixed-matrix ultrafiltration membranes. Desalination 283: 89–99. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2011.04.008.
SponsorsThis publication is based on work supported in part by Award No. KUS-C1-018-02, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), in addition to the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), QuantumSphere Inc., and NanoH<INF>2</INF>O Inc. The authors wish to express their appreciation to Prof. Ajit Mal and Shri Harsh K. Vaid in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at UCLA for providing access to the Instron (R) mechanical testing instrument, as well as Dr. Chi Min Ho (UCLA Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department) for providing access to the AFM. The authors also thank Dr. Stephen Kloos at GE Water Technologies for supplying PAN membrane samples.