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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 81;

Remarkable Anti-Fouling Performance of TiO2-Modified TFC Membranes with Mussel-Inspired Polydopamine Binding

Department of Chemical Engineering, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200f, Box 2424, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Department of Industrial Sciences, Lab4U, KH Limburg, Universitaire Campus, Gebouw B Bus 3, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, 100084 Beijing, China
Materials & Process Engineering (iMMC-IMAP), Université catholique de Louvain, Place Sainte Barbe 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Raed Abu-Reziq
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 26 December 2016 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 13 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Materials)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2296 KB, uploaded 13 January 2017]   |  


It has been proven that a versatile bio-glue, polydopamine, can firmly bind TiO2 (titanium dioxide) nanoparticles on thin film composite (TFC) membranes. In this work, the anti-fouling behaviour of this novel polydopamine-TiO2-modified membrane is evaluated, based on the static bovine serum albumin (BSA) surface adhesion of the membranes and the relative flux decline. The results show that the anti-fouling performance of this new membrane is significantly improved in dark conditions when compared with the neat TFC membrane and the membranes only modified by polydopamine or TiO2. When filtrating a 0.5 g·L−1 BSA solution in dark conditions, the flux of the polydopamine-TiO2-modified membrane remains constant, at 95% of its pure water flux after 30 min filtration for 8 h of the experiment. This indicates a significant increase in anti-fouling performance when compared to the 25% flux decline observed for the neat TFC membrane, and to the 15% flux decline of those only modified by polydopamine or TiO2. This remarkable anti-fouling behaviour is attributed to an improved and uniform hydrophilicity, due to the presence of TiO2 and to the regular nanosized papillae structure of the polydopamine-TiO2 coating. Furthermore, since dopamine-modified TiO2 has visible light-induced photocatalytic properties, the membrane’s photocatalytic performance was also tested in light conditions. However an increase of flux and decrease of retention were observed after 24 h of continuous illumination, indicating that light may also affect the top layer of the membrane. View Full-Text
Keywords: anti-fouling; visible light photocatalysis; TiO2 nanoparticles; dopamine; TFC membrane anti-fouling; visible light photocatalysis; TiO2 nanoparticles; dopamine; TFC membrane

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Zhang, R.-X.; Braeken, L.; Liu, T.-Y.; Luis, P.; Wang, X.-L.; Van der Bruggen, B. Remarkable Anti-Fouling Performance of TiO2-Modified TFC Membranes with Mussel-Inspired Polydopamine Binding. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 81.

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