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Membranes 2018, 8(4), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8040131

Antifouling Properties of PES Membranes by Blending with ZnO Nanoparticles and NMP–Acetone Mixture as Solvent

1
School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Malaysia
2
Faculty of Bioengineering and Technology, Jeli Campus, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, 17600 Kelantan, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 8 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
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Abstract

In this study, the antifouling properties of polyethersulfone (PES) membranes blended with different amounts of ZnO nanoparticles and a fixed ratio of N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)-acetone mixture as a solvent were investigated. The properties and performance of the fabricated membranes were examined in terms of hydrophilicity, porosity, pore size, surface and cross-section image using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), surface roughness using atomic force microscopy (AFM), pure water flux, and humic acid filtration. Addition of ZnO as expected was found to improve the hydrophilicity as well as to encourage pore formation. However, the agglomeration of ZnO at a higher concentration cannot be avoided even when dissolved in a mixed solvent. The presence of highly volatile acetone contributed to the tight skin layer of the membrane which shows remarkable antifouling ability with the highest flux recovery ratio and negligible irreversible fouling. ZnO NPs in acetone/NMP mixed solvent shows an improvement in flux and rejection, but, the fouling resistance was moderate compared to the pristine membrane. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyethersulfone; zinc oxide; mixed matrix membrane; humic acid removal; mixed solvent; antifouling polyethersulfone; zinc oxide; mixed matrix membrane; humic acid removal; mixed solvent; antifouling
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Ahmad, A.L.; Sugumaran, J.; Shoparwe, N.F. Antifouling Properties of PES Membranes by Blending with ZnO Nanoparticles and NMP–Acetone Mixture as Solvent. Membranes 2018, 8, 131.

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