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Aluminosilicate Nanotubes Embedded Polyamide Thin Film Nanocomposite Forward Osmosis Membranes with Simultaneous Enhancement of Water Permeability and Selectivity

1
Faculty of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
2
College of Material and Textile Engineering, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing 314001, China
3
Key Laboratory of Marine Materials and Related Technologies, Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Ningbo 315201; China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both authors contributed equally to the present work.
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050879
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 5 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
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Abstract

Nanocomposite membranes are strongly desired to break a trade-off between permeability and selectivity. This work reports new thin film nanocomposite (TFN) forward osmosis (FO) membranes by embedding aluminosilicate nanotubes (ANTs) into a polyamide (PA) rejection layer. The surface morphology and structure of the TFN FO membranes were carefully characterized by FTIR, XPS, FESEM and AFM. The ANTs incorporated PA rejection layers exhibited many open and broad “leaf-like” folds with “ridge-and-valley” structures, high surface roughness and relatively low cross-linking degree. Compared with thin film composite (TFC) membrane without ANTs, the TFN membrane with only 0.2 w/v% ANTs loading presented significantly improved FO water permeability, selectivity and reduced structural parameters. This promising performance can be mainly contributed to the special ANTs embedded PA rejection layer, where water molecules preferentially transport through the nanochannels of ANTs. Molecular dynamic simulation further proved that water molecules have much larger flux through the nanotubes of ANTs than sodium and chloride ions, which are attributed to the intrinsic hydrophilicity of ANTs and low external force for water transport. This work shows that these TFN FO membranes with ANTs decorated PA layer are promising in desalination applications due to their simultaneously enhanced permeability and selectivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: forward osmosis; imogolite nanotubes; polyamide; water permeability; selectivity forward osmosis; imogolite nanotubes; polyamide; water permeability; selectivity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Shi, S.-J.; Pan, Y.-H.; Wang, S.-F.; Dai, Z.-W.; Gu, L.; Wu, Q.-Y. Aluminosilicate Nanotubes Embedded Polyamide Thin Film Nanocomposite Forward Osmosis Membranes with Simultaneous Enhancement of Water Permeability and Selectivity. Polymers 2019, 11, 879.

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