Chemical Engineering Communications, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.Thin-film nanocomposite reverse osmosis (TFN-RO) membranes were fabricated in this study. Titanium silicate-1 (TS-1) was used as an additive during interfacial polymerization. Since nanoparticle dispersion in the membrane matrix is a significant challenge in fabricating high-performance membranes, polyvinyl alcohol/titanium silicate-1 (PVA/TS-1) composite with different PVA polymer dosage was prepared and used in TFN-RO membrane to provide better dispersion of the synthesized TS-1. As a result, the pure water flux increased by 39.5%, and the NaCl rejection improved from 95.03% to 99.1% at the optimum content of 0.1 wt.% (PVA) and 0.1 wt.% (TS-1). The antifouling properties of this membrane for bovine albumin serum (BSA) and humic acid (HA) were enhanced. Characterization of the morphologies of the membranes was investigated using AFM and FESEM. The measurement of water contact angle and zeta potential was accomplished to characterize the surface properties of the membranes. ATR-FTIR was used to study the chemical structure of the membranes. Following the introduction of the PVA/TS-1 composite, the TFN membranes became smoother, thinner, more hydrophilic, and negatively charged. Due to hydroxyl groups and less cross-linked structure of the top layer, water flux was higher. A smoother surface and more negative charges on the top layer also improved fouling resistance.