Photocatalytic nanofiltration (NF) membranes with enhanced flux and anti-fouling properties were prepared from a layered in situ nanocomposite of metal organic framework (i.e., UiO-66) and graphene oxide (UiO-66_GO) on a polyamide NF membrane using a pressure-assisted self-assembly method. For filtering pure water and humic acid, the composite membrane with a 10% UiO-66_GO loading (UiO-66_GO/NF-10%) showed a higher water flux (up to 63 kg/m2
h bar), flux recovery (80%), and total fouling resistance (33%) than the pristine NF membrane. Physical and chemical characterization revealed that this performance was attributed to improvements in hydrophilicity, porosity, surface smoothness, and charge repulsion. The UiO-66_GO/NF-10% composite membrane exhibited better physical stability with a relatively low mass loss (8.64%) after five washes than the membranes with mass loadings of 5 and 15 wt%. Furthermore, the UiO-66_GO/NF-10% composite membrane exhibited considerable photocatalytic activity under ultraviolet (UV) irradiation (bandgap: 3.45 eV), which reduced irreversible fouling from 20.7% to 2.4% and increased flux recovery to 98%. This study demonstrated that surface modification with the UiO-66_GO nanocomposite produced a high-flux anti-fouling photocatalytic NF membrane, which is promising for water purification.
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