Chemosphere, vol.322, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
Removal of As(III) from the polluted waters is a challenge. It should be oxidized to As(V) for increasing its rejection by RO membranes. However, in this research, As (III) is directly removed by a high permeable and antifouling membrane prepared through the surface coating and in-situ crosslinking procedure of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and sodium alginate (SA) as coating materials containing graphene oxide as a hydrophilic additive on a polysulfone support with glutaraldehyde (GA) chemical crosslinking agent. The properties of the prepared membranes were evaluated through contact angle, zeta potential, ATR-FTIR, SEM, and AFM. The addition of GO in the polymeric networks of SA and PVA hydrogel coating layers led to a better hydrophilicity and a smoother surface and a higher negative surface charge resulted in improvment of permeability and rejection of membranes. Among the prepared hydrogel-coated modified membranes, SA-GO/PSf indicated the highest pure water permeability (15.8 L m−2 h−1 bar−1) and BSA permeability (9.57 L m−2 h−1 bar−1), respectively. The best desalination performance (NaCl, MgSO4, and Na2SO4 rejections of 60.0%, 74.5%, and 92.0%, respectively) and As(III) removal (88.4%) along with satisfactory stability and reusability in cyclic continuous filtration was reported for PVA-SA-GO membrane. In addition, the PVA-SA-GO membrane indicated improved fouling resistance toward BSA foulant with the lowest flux decline of 7%.