Oily wastewater treatment via phase-inverted polyethersulfone-maghemite (PES/γ-Fe2O3) composite membranes

Mariam Ouda, Yazan Ibrahim, Fawzi Banat, Shadi W. Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In this study, phase-inverted polyethersulfone (PES)-maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) composite membranes were fabricated and tested for oil-water separation. The performance of five different composite membranes with various loadings of γ-Fe2O3 (0.25, 0.50, 0.75, and 1.00 wt.%) in terms of water flux, flux recovery, and oil rejection was investigated. The surface morphology, crystallinity, and functionalities of the membranes were characterized via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR). Furthermore, the porosity, pore size, water contact angle, and underwater oil contact angle of the composite membranes were examined. Results showed that the pristine PES membrane reported a pure water flux of 1242 ± 12 L/m2h (LMH) compared to 1323 ± 27 LMH for the 0.25 wt.% PES/γ-Fe2O3 membrane. Additionally, 56 and 23 % flux recovery ratio (FRR) were reported for the PES/γ-Fe2O3 and the pristine PES membrane, respectively. Also, the removal efficiency has increased from 39.2 % in the PES membrane to 81.7 % in the 1.00 wt.% PES/γ-Fe2O3 composite membrane. Two phenomena played a role in the removal trends, namely size exclusion and electrostatic repulsion forces. The developed membranes exhibited significant application potential for the removal of oil from wastewater.

Original languageBritish English
Article number101545
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Membranes
  • Microfiltration
  • Oily wastewater treatment
  • γ-FeOnanoparticles


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