Highly efficient size-sieving-based removal of arsenic(III) via defect-free interfacially-polymerized polyamide thin-film composite membranes
AuthorsAljubran, Murtadha A.
KAUST DepartmentChemical Engineering Program
Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Research Center
Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division
Analytical Chemistry Core Lab
KAUST Grant NumberBAS/1/1323-01-01
Embargo End Date2024-03-30
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/676347
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractSerious health problems have been linked to the consumption and exposure of arsenic-contaminated groundwater. In comparison to As(V), As(III) is smaller and predominantly present in its neutral form in groundwater, which hinders its efficient removal by conventional nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes. In this study, the removal of As(III) was investigated at different pH conditions using three defect-free interfacially polymerized thin-film composite (TFC) membranes made by an optimized in-house developed interfacial polymerization process (KRO). The membranes were fabricated from aromatic para-phenylenediamine (PPD) or meta-phenylenediamine (MPD) and cycloaliphatic piperazine (PIP) by reaction with trimesoyl chloride (TMC). The PPD-KRO, MPD-KRO, and PIP-KRO polyamide membranes were tested with a feed containing 5 ± 1 mg L−1 (ppm) As(III). Two commercial TFC membranes, a seawater (Sepro RO4) and a nanofiltration (DOW NF270) membrane, were also evaluated for comparison. At natural conditions (pH 6–8), the defect-free fully aromatic TFC membranes demonstrated unprecedented size-sieving performance for As(III) removal with a rejection of ∼99.5 and > 99.8% for PPD-KRO and MPD-KRO, respectively, in comparison to ∼95% for the commercial Sepro RO4 seawater membrane tested under the same conditions. In contrast, As(III) rejection of semi-aromatic piperazine-based TFCs, PIP-KRO and NF270, showed a strong dependence on the charge-exclusion mechanism with maximum As(III) rejections of 69.5 and 46.3% at pH 10, respectively. Most notably, we demonstrated that the MPD-KRO membrane achieved an As(III) concentration ∼5 μg L−1 in the permeate (less than the WHO permissible arsenic standard level of 10 μg L−1), whereas PPD-KRO achieved a slightly higher value of ∼14 μg L−1. Our results are very promising considering the arsenic standard level in highly As(III) contaminated groundwater in Bangladesh and India is set at 50 μg L−1.
CitationAljubran, M. A., Ali, Z., Wang, Y., Alonso, E., Puspasari, T., Cherviakouski, K., & Pinnau, I. (2022). Highly efficient size-sieving-based removal of arsenic(III) via defect-free interfacially-polymerized polyamide thin-film composite membranes. Journal of Membrane Science, 120477. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2022.120477
SponsorsFunded (BAS/1/1323-01-01) by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia
JournalJournal of Membrane Science