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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Influence of Surface Micro-Patterning and Hydrogel Coating on Colloidal Silica Fouling of Polyamide Thin-Film Composite Membranes

1
Lehrstuhl für Technische Chemie II, and Center for Water and Environmental Research (ZWU), University of Duisburg-Essen, 45141 Essen, Germany
2
Physics Department, and Center for Environmental and Smart Technology, Faculty of Science, Fayoum University, 63514 Fayoum, Egypt
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2019, 9(6), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9060067
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
In this work, colloidal fouling by silica particles of different sizes on micro-patterned pristine and poly-(N-isopropylacylamide)-coated polyamide (PA) thin-film composite (TFC) membranes was studied. The competing impacts of surface micro-patterning vs. surface chemical modification on enhancing antifouling propensity in unstirred dead-end filtration conditions were systematically explored. Spatially selective deposition of silica microparticles (500 nm), driven by unequal flow distribution, was observed on micro-patterned membranes such that silica particles accumulated preferentially within the surface pattern’s valleys, while keeping apexes regions not fouled. This interesting phenomenon may explain the substantially enhanced antifouling propensity of micro-patterned PA TFC membranes. A detailed mechanism for spatially selective deposition of silica microparticles is proposed. Furthermore, micro-imprinted surface patterns were revealed to influence deposition behavior/packing of silica nanoparticles (50 nm) resulting in very limited flux decline that was, almost, recovered under influence of triggering stirring stimulus during a continued silica filtration experiment. The current findings provide more insights into the potency of surface micro-patterning consolidated with hydrogel coating toward new fouling-resistant PA TFC membranes. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface micro-patterning; polyamide thin-film composite membrane; colloidal fouling; silica fouling; stimuli-responsive polymer; water desalination; antifouling propensity; fouling resistant membranes surface micro-patterning; polyamide thin-film composite membrane; colloidal fouling; silica fouling; stimuli-responsive polymer; water desalination; antifouling propensity; fouling resistant membranes
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MDPI and ACS Style

ElSherbiny, I.M.; Khalil, A.S.; Ulbricht, M. Influence of Surface Micro-Patterning and Hydrogel Coating on Colloidal Silica Fouling of Polyamide Thin-Film Composite Membranes. Membranes 2019, 9, 67.

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