Assessing the effect of surface modification of polyamide RO membrane by l-DOPA on the short range physiochemical interactions with biopolymer fouling on the membrane

Sara Azari, Linda Zou, Emile Cornelissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Theoretical predictions of interaction energies for membrane-biopolymer foulant pairs were used to compare the fouling tendencies of a virgin commercial polyamide reverse osmosis (RO) membrane with a amino acid 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-l-alanine (l-DOPA) coated RO membrane. Lifshitz-van der Waals (LW) and Lewis acid-base (AB) surface tension components of the membranes were determined based on contact angle results using the van Oss approach. From these values, the LW and AB components of the free energy of adhesion between membrane and foulants were calculated. Electrostatic (EL) double layer interaction energies between the membrane and foulants were also estimated using the measured surface charge data of the membranes and fouling agents. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) and alginic acid sodium salt (alginate) were used as model biopolymers causing membrane fouling. Based on the calculated adhesion free energies, acid-base interactions were found to have the strongest impact on the adhesion of both BSA and alginate to the either membranes surfaces. It was found that l-DOPA modification has significantly lowered acid-base interaction affinity toward the adhesion of both foulants studied. On the basis of calculated free energies of adhesion, lower fouling tendency of the l-DOPA modified membrane was expected. The accelerated fouling tests indicated a lower flux decline rate for the modified membrane and confirmed the results obtained from theory.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)222-228
Number of pages7
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Volume120
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Adhesion energy
  • Membrane fouling
  • Surface modification
  • Van Oss

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