Enhancement of the Antifouling Properties and Filtration Performance of Poly(ethersulfone) Ultrafiltration Membranes by Incorporation of Nanoporous Titania Nanoparticles

Ze Xian Low, Zhouyou Wang, Sookwan Leong, Amir Razmjou, Ludovic F. Dumée, Xiwang Zhang, Huanting Wang

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59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nanoporous titania nanoparticles (NTNs) were synthesized and used as an additive at a low concentration of 0.1-1 wt % in the fabrication of poly(ethersulfone) (PES) ultrafiltration membranes via non-solvent-induced phase separation. The structure and properties of nanoparticles were characterized using nitrogen sorption, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The NTNs have a size distribution with a particle size of mainly <100 nm and have a Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller surface area of ∼100 m2 g-1. The modified membranes were fabricated and investigated in terms of their pure water flux, solute rejection, and fouling resistance. The water permeability and molecular weight cutoffs (MWCOs) of membranes were determined under constant-pressure filtration in dead-end mode at 100 kPa. The membrane fouling resistance was characterized under constant flux operation using bovine serum albumin as a model foulant. The membranes were characterized in terms of morphology, porosity, pore size distribution, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, contact angle goniometry, surface free energy, and viscosity of the dope solution. Overall, the modified membrane showed increased wettability and reduced surface free energy and pore size. The modified UF membrane with 0.5 wt % NTN loading exhibited improved fouling resistance (fouling rate of 0.58 kPa/min compared to a rate of 0.70 kPa/min for the control membrane) with ∼80% water flux recovery. The same membrane showed an ∼20% increase in water flux, an improvement in MWCO, and a narrower pore size distribution.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)11188-11198
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Volume54
Issue number44
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Nov 2015

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