The Treatment of Produced Water via TiO2 Ceramic Membrane Modified with Fe3O4-Ag Composite Nanoparticles

  • Ahmed Aboulella

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The undoubtably increase in water scarcity in the world has encouraged scientists to seek different methods in cleaning and reusing the different kinds of wastewater (e.g., produced water). Membrane technology has shown many advances in desalinating produced water. Yet, the development in this technology; to improve its efficiency, is radically increasing, such developments can enhance the membranes' ability to separate pollutants from water, and boost up the fouling resistance of such membranes, via applying some modifications on the membrane's surface. In this work, 6 compositions of Fe3O4-Ag (P1:10, P1:8, P1:6, P1:4, P1:2, and P1:1) nanoparticles were synthesized, characterized using EDX, FTIR, XRD, ZP and PSD, CA to investigate their superhydrophilic behavior, for which only one composition was selected for the desired application of separating oil emulsions from refinery wastewater. The P1:10 powder was selected for showing the lowest contact angle (1.6+2.15) indicating superhydrophilic behavior, to serve as a surface modifier for the TiO2 ceramic membranes that will be used in the desired treatment application. The depositing of the powder on the surface of the membrane was implemented via vacuum coating of 5 different coating solutions with the following weight ratios 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, 1.25, and 1.50 wt.%. The membranes were characterized via SEM, EDX, and the Elemental mapping to check the attachment of the nanoparticles to the surface of the membranes. The 1.25 wt.% membrane showed a higher flux (1445 LMH) of a multiple 3.80 over the flux of the pristine membrane (379 LMH). In terms of rejection, all membranes showed slight better rejection than the pristine, hence the choice of the nanoparticles coating concentration was based on the enhancing of the filtration flux, moreover, the 1.25 wt.% membrane was selected as the optimum coating concentration.
Date of AwardMay 2021
Original languageAmerican English


  • Oily wastewater; ceramic membranes; oil rejection; Fe3O4-Ag composite nanoparticles; Membrane Surface Modification.

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