Surface modification of commercial seawater reverse osmosis membranes by grafting of hydrophilic monomer blended with carboxylated multiwalled carbon nanotubes


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Vatanpour Sargheın V., Zoqi N.

APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, vol.396, pp.1478-1489, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 396
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2016.11.195
  • Journal Name: APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1478-1489
  • Keywords: Polyamide reverse osmosis membrane, Desalination, Grafting, Multiwalled carbon nanotubes, Antifouling, NANOFILTRATION MEMBRANES, ANTIFOULING PROPERTY, DESALINATION, POLYAMIDE, NANOCOMPOSITE, POLYMERIZATION, FABRICATION, NANOPARTICLES, PERFORMANCE, CHALLENGES
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No

Abstract

In this study, modification of commercial seawater reverse osmosis membranes was carried out with simultaneous use of surface grafting and nanoparticle incorporation. Membrane grafting with a hydrophilic acrylic acid monomer and thermal initiator was used to increase membrane surface hydrophilicity. The used nanomaterial was carboxylated multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT5), which were dispersed in the grafting solution and deposited on membrane surface to reduce fouling by creating polymer brushes and hydrodynamic resistance. Effectiveness of the grafting process (formation of graft layer on membrane surface) was proved by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses. Increase of membrane surface hydrophilicity was approved with contact angle test. First, the grafting was performed on the membrane surfaces with different monomer concentrations, various contact times and several membrane curing times (three variables for optimization). The modified membranes were tested by a cross-flow setup using saline solution for permeability and rejection tests, and bovine serum albumin (BSA) solution for fouling test. The results showed that the modified membranes with 0.75 M of monomer, 3 min contact time and 80 min curing time in an oven at 50 degrees C presented the highest flux and lowest rejection decline related to the commercial reverse osmosis membrane. In the next step, the optimum grafting condition was selected and the nanotubes with different weight percentages were dispersed in the acrylic acid monomer solution. The membrane containing 0.25 wt% COOH-MWCNTs showed the highest fouling resistance. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.