POLYMER TESTING, vol.91, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Nanostructured polymer membranes are nowadays of crucial importance in achieving antifouling properties. Nanomaterials with tunable composition, size, and morphology, surface modification and functionality offer unprecedented opportunities for efficient wastewater treatment. In this work, the effect of holmium (III) molybdate (Ho2MoO6) nanomaterial as a new nanofiller on preparation of nanostructured polyethersulfone (PES) mixed matrix membranes was examined in terms of hydmphilicity, membrane morphology, permeability, dye and protein separation and antifouling property. The Ho2MoO6 nanosheets were synthesized and characterized by FTIR, XRD, and FESEM and used in different amounts in PES matrix. The pore size and the membrane porosity increased with Ho2MoO6 loading. The nanocomposite membranes showed enhancement in hydrophilicity, antifouling properties, dye rejection and permeability. The remarkably pure water flux (195 L/m2h at 3 bar) and 92.3% flux recovery after bovine serum albumin (BSA) filtration were obtained for the membrane mixed with 2 wt% Ho2MoO6 compared to 95 L/m(2)h and 75.2% obtained for the bare PES, respectively. Moreover, significantly high rejection of Acid Red 125 (95 +/- 1%) was achieved. Thus, the experimental results established the potential efficiency of the novel nanocomposite membrane for the separation applications.