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Open AccessArticle

Antifouling Properties of Silver-Zinc Oxide Polyamide Thin Film Composite Membrane and Rejection of 2-Chlorophenol and 2,4-Dichlorophenol

1
Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, Vanderbijlpark 1900, South Africa
2
Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Doornfontein, Johannesburg 2028, South Africa
3
Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences, Department of Biotechnology. Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, Vanderbijlpark 1900, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2019, 9(8), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9080096
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
The silver-zinc oxide (Ag-ZnO) polyamide thin film composite (PA-TFC) membrane was prepared by interfacial polymerization. The Ag-ZnO/PA-TFC membrane was characterized by attenuated total reflectance fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) for polyamide functional groups and contact angle for surface hydrophilicity. The Ag-ZnO/PA-TFC membrane was further characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for morphology and surface roughness, respectively. The performance of the fabricated membrane was investigated using pure water flux, permeability, rejection, flux recovery, and fouling resistance using low molecular weight organic pollutants, 2-chlorophenol (2-CP) and 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP). The results were compared to the neat (PA-TFC) membrane. It was observed that incorporation of Ag-ZnO nanocomposites into the PA-TFC membrane improved hydrophilicity, permeation, rejection, and fouling resistance properties of the membrane. The contact angle decreased from 62.8° to 54° for PA-TFC and the Ag-ZnO/PA-TFC membrane, respectively. The presence of Ag-ZnO enhanced permeability of the membrane from 0.9 (Lm−2h−1bar−1) to 1.9 (Lm−2h−1bar−1). Modification of the membrane with Ag-ZnO further showed an enhanced rejection of 2-CP and 2,4-DCP from 43% to 80% and 58% to 85%, respectively. The 2,4-DCP molecules were rejected more than 2-CP due to enhanced repulsive forces from the extra Cl ion. A high flux recovery of about 95% was achieved for the modified membrane compared to 64% for the neat membrane. The improved flux recovery was an indication of enhanced antifouling propensity. View Full-Text
Keywords: PES; interfacial polymerization; Ag-ZnO/PA-TFC membrane; hydrophilicity PES; interfacial polymerization; Ag-ZnO/PA-TFC membrane; hydrophilicity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kotlhao, K.; Lawal, I.A.; Moutloali, R.M.; Klink, M.J. Antifouling Properties of Silver-Zinc Oxide Polyamide Thin Film Composite Membrane and Rejection of 2-Chlorophenol and 2,4-Dichlorophenol. Membranes 2019, 9, 96.

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