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Performance of Carbon Nanotube/Polysulfone (CNT/Psf) Composite Membranes during Oil–Water Mixture Separation: Effect of CNT Dispersion Method

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School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, South Africa
2
Department of Chemistry, School of Sciences, Federal University of Technology, Akure 220001, Nigeria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tahar Laoui
Membranes 2017, 7(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes7010014
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
Effect of the dispersion method employed during the synthesis of carbon nanotube (CNT)/polysulfone-infused composite membranes on the quality and separation performance of the membranes during oil–water mixture separation is demonstrated. Carbon nanotube/polysulfone composite membranes containing 5% CNT and pure polysulfone membrane (with 0% CNT) were synthesized using phase inversion. Three CNT dispersion methods referred to as Method 1 (M1), Method 2 (M2), and Method 3 (M3) were used to disperse the CNTs. Morphology and surface property of the synthesized membranes were checked with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, respectively. Separation performance of the membranes was evaluated by applying the membrane to the separation of oil–water emulsion using a cross-flow filtration setup. The functional groups obtained from the FTIR spectra for the membranes and the CNTs included carboxylic acid groups (O–H) and carbonyl group (C=O) which are responsible for the hydrophilic properties of the membranes. The contact angles for the membranes obtained from Method 1, Method 2, and Method 3 were 76.6° ± 5.0°, 77.9° ± 1.3°, and 77.3° ± 4.5°, respectively, and 88.1° ± 2.1° was obtained for the pure polysulfone membrane. The oil rejection (OR) for the synthesized composite membranes from Method 1, Method 2, and Method 3 were 48.71%, 65.86%, and 99.88%, respectively, indicating that Method 3 resulted in membrane of the best quality and separation performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon nanotubes; composite membranes; mixed matrix membrane; separation; oily wastewater carbon nanotubes; composite membranes; mixed matrix membrane; separation; oily wastewater
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Daramola, M.O.; Hlanyane, P.; Sadare, O.O.; Oluwasina, O.O.; Iyuke, S.E. Performance of Carbon Nanotube/Polysulfone (CNT/Psf) Composite Membranes during Oil–Water Mixture Separation: Effect of CNT Dispersion Method. Membranes 2017, 7, 14.

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