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Membranes 2018, 8(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8030070

Modification of Nanofiber Support Layer for Thin Film Composite Forward Osmosis Membranes via Layer-by-Layer Polyelectrolyte Deposition

1
Centre for Technology in Water and Wastewater, University of Technology Sydney, 15 Broadway, Ultimo, New South Wales 2007, Australia
2
Chemical Engineering Program, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Education City PO Box 23874, Doha, Qatar
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 25 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Nanofiber Membranes: Advances and Applications)
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Abstract

Electrospun nanofiber-supported thin film composite membranes are among the most promising membranes for seawater desalination via forward osmosis. In this study, a high-performance electrospun polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF) nanofiber-supported thin film composite (TFC) membrane was successfully fabricated after molecular layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte deposition. Negatively-charged electrospun polyacrylic acid (PAA) nanofibers were deposited on electrospun PVDF nanofibers to form a support layer consisted of PVDF and PAA nanofibers. This resulted to a more hydrophilic support compared to the plain PVDF nanofiber support. The PVDF-PAA nanofiber support then underwent a layer-by-layer deposition of polyethylenimine (PEI) and PAA to form a polyelectrolyte layer on the nanofiber surface prior to interfacial polymerization, which forms the selective polyamide layer of TFC membranes. The resultant PVDF-LbL TFC membrane exhibited enhanced hydrophilicity and porosity, without sacrificing mechanical strength. As a result, it showed high pure water permeability and low structural parameter values of 4.12 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 and 221 µm, respectively, significantly better compared to commercial FO membrane. Layer-by-layer deposition of polyelectrolyte is therefore a useful and practical modification method for fabrication of high performance nanofiber-supported TFC membrane. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane; forward osmosis; nanofiber; electrospinning; layered interfacial polymerization; layer-by-layer; thin film composite membrane; forward osmosis; nanofiber; electrospinning; layered interfacial polymerization; layer-by-layer; thin film composite
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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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Gonzales, R.R.; Park, M.J.; Tijing, L.; Han, D.S.; Phuntsho, S.; Shon, H.K. Modification of Nanofiber Support Layer for Thin Film Composite Forward Osmosis Membranes via Layer-by-Layer Polyelectrolyte Deposition. Membranes 2018, 8, 70.

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