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ZnO Microfiltration Membranes for Desalination by a Vacuum Flow-Through Evaporation Method

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School of Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 420 Engineering North, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
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Department of Physics, Oklahoma State University, 145 Physical Sciences Bldg., Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
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Department of Biosystems and Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 213 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
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Department of Chemical Engineering, Changwon National University, Changwon-Si, Gyeongsangnam-do 51140, Korea
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2019, 9(12), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9120156
Received: 27 October 2019 / Revised: 20 November 2019 / Accepted: 21 November 2019 / Published: 23 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Preparation and Characterization)
ZnO was deposited on macroporous α-alumina membranes via atomic layer deposition (ALD) to improve water flux by increasing their hydrophilicity and reducing mass transfer resistance through membrane pore channels. The deposition of ZnO was systemically performed for 4–128 cycles of ALD at 170 °C. Analysis of membrane surface by contact angles (CA) measurements revealed that the hydrophilicity of the ZnO ALD membrane was enhanced with increasing the number of ALD cycles. It was observed that a vacuum-assisted ‘flow-through’ evaporation method had significantly higher efficacy in comparison to conventional desalination methods. By using the vacuum-assisted ‘flow-through’ technique, the water flux of the ZnO ALD membrane (~170 L m−2 h−1) was obtained, which is higher than uncoated pristine membranes (92 L m−2 h−1). It was also found that ZnO ALD membranes substantially improved water flux while keeping excellent salt rejection rate (>99.9%). Ultrasonic membrane cleaning had considerable effect on reducing the membrane fouling. View Full-Text
Keywords: desalination; atomic layer deposition; hydrophilicity; membrane; zinc oxide desalination; atomic layer deposition; hydrophilicity; membrane; zinc oxide
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dangwal, S.; Liu, R.; Bastatas, L.D.; Echeverria, E.; Huang, C.; Mao, Y.; Mcllroy, D.N.; Han, S.; Kim, S.-J. ZnO Microfiltration Membranes for Desalination by a Vacuum Flow-Through Evaporation Method. Membranes 2019, 9, 156.

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