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Performance of Acacia Gum as a Novel Additive in Thin Film Composite Polyamide RO Membranes

1
Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Qatar Foundation, 34110 Doha, Qatar
2
Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
3
Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
4
College of Science and Engineering, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation, PO Box 5825, 34110 Doha, Qatar
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2019, 9(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9020030
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Applications in Water Treatment)
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Abstract

Novel thin film composite (TFC) polyamide (PA) membranes blended with 0.01–0.2 wt.% of Acacia gum (AG) have been prepared using the interfacial polymerization technique. The properties of the prepared membranes were evaluated using contact angle, zeta potential measurements, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and surface profilometer. It was found that the use of AG as an additive to TFC PA membranes increased the membrane’s hydrophilicity (by 45%), surface charge (by 16%) as well as water flux (by 1.2-fold) compared with plain PA membrane. In addition, the prepared PA/AG membranes possessed reduced surface roughness (by 63%) and improved antifouling behavior while maintaining NaCl rejection above 96%. The TFC PA/AG membranes were tested with seawater collected from the Arabian Gulf and showed higher salt rejection and lower flux decline during filtration when compared to commercial membranes (GE Osmonics and Dow SW30HR). These findings indicate that AG can be used as an efficient additive to enhance the properties of TFC PA membranes. View Full-Text
Keywords: reverse osmosis; polyamide membrane; salt rejection; Acacia gum; interfacial polymerization; hydrophilicity; surface charge; antifouling properties reverse osmosis; polyamide membrane; salt rejection; Acacia gum; interfacial polymerization; hydrophilicity; surface charge; antifouling properties
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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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Manawi, Y.; Kochkodan, V.; Ismail, A.F.; Mohammad, A.W.; Ali Atieh, M. Performance of Acacia Gum as a Novel Additive in Thin Film Composite Polyamide RO Membranes. Membranes 2019, 9, 30.

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