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Membranes 2017, 7(3), 35; doi:10.3390/membranes7030035

Investigation of Antibacterial and Fouling Resistance of Silver and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Doped Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride-co-Hexafluoropropylene) Composite Membrane

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Limpopo, Private Bag x1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
2
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Limpopo, Private Bag x1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract

Composite membranes were successfully prepared using a phase-inversion method. The X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) profiles has confirmed formation of 4.8 wt % Ag/poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropene) (PVDF-HFP), 3 wt % Ag-MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP (EDX surface composition of Ag nanoparticles) and 1.5 wt % MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP composite membranes. The MWCNTs crystallites are mainly encapsulated by a layer of PVDF-HFP, as evidenced by disappearance of graphitic peak. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images have depicted the formation of microporous structure, with few MWCNTs on the surface and strongly interacting with PVDF-HFP as demonstrated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), XRD and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) data. The data indicated an increase in porosity, swellability and water content of the PVDF-HFP membrane with the addition of MWCNTs and/or Ag nanoparticles, showing an improved hydrophilicity. The 1.5 wt % MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP composite membrane showed good desalination and fouling resistance rates, which correlates with a low water contact angle. The combined effects of Ag nanoparticles and MWCNTs do not promote fouling resistance of PVDF-HFP membranes, as shown during NaCl microfiltration (this is linked with high water contact angle as compared to that of MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP composite). Both 1.5 wt % MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP and 3 wt % Ag-MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP composite membranes prevented the bacteria passing through the membrane (100% bacterial load reduction). The surface of 3 wt % Ag-MWCNTs/PVDF-HFP showed good bactericidal and non-leaching properties of the dopant materials (MWCNTs and Ag), as evidenced by bacterial growth on the edges of the membranes. View Full-Text
Keywords: composite membranes; multi-walled carbon nanotubes; PVDF-HFP; fouling resistance; antibacterial activity composite membranes; multi-walled carbon nanotubes; PVDF-HFP; fouling resistance; antibacterial activity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Macevele, L.E.; Moganedi, K.L.M.; Magadzu, T. Investigation of Antibacterial and Fouling Resistance of Silver and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Doped Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride-co-Hexafluoropropylene) Composite Membrane. Membranes 2017, 7, 35.

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