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Open AccessArticle

A Thin Film Nanocomposite Membrane with MCM-41 Silica Nanoparticles for Brackish Water Purification

by Mohammed Kadhom 1, Jun Yin 2 and Baolin Deng 1,2,*
1
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Klaus Rätzke
Membranes 2016, 6(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes6040050
Received: 30 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Thin film nanocomposite (TFN) membranes containing MCM-41 silica nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized by the interfacial polymerization (IP) process. An m-phenylenediamine (MPD) aqueous solution and an organic phase with trimesoyl chloride (TMC) dissolved in isooctane were used in the IP reaction, occurring on a nanoporous polysulfone (PSU) support layer. Isooctane was introduced as the organic solvent for TMC in this work due to its intermediate boiling point. MCM-41 silica NPs were loaded in MPD and TMC solutions in separate experiments, in a concentration range from 0 to 0.04 wt %, and the membrane performance was assessed and compared based on salt rejection and water flux. The prepared membranes were characterized via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), contact angle measurement, and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR FT-IR) analysis. The results show that adding MCM-41 silica NPs into an MPD solution yields slightly improved and more stable results than adding them to a TMC solution. With 0.02% MCM-41 silica NPs in the MPD solution, the water flux was increased from 44.0 to 64.1 L/m2·h, while the rejection virtually remained the same at 95% (2000 ppm NaCl saline solution, 25 °C, 2068 kPa (300 psi)). View Full-Text
Keywords: reverse osmosis (RO); thin film nanocomposite (TFN) membrane; MCM-41 nanoparticles (NPs) reverse osmosis (RO); thin film nanocomposite (TFN) membrane; MCM-41 nanoparticles (NPs)
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Kadhom, M.; Yin, J.; Deng, B. A Thin Film Nanocomposite Membrane with MCM-41 Silica Nanoparticles for Brackish Water Purification. Membranes 2016, 6, 50.

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