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Open AccessArticle

Surfactant-Assisted Fabrication of Alumina-Doped Amorphous Silica Nanofiltration Membranes with Enhanced Water Purification Performances

Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers vej 7H, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark
Department of Chemistry, University of Turin, Via P. Giuria 5/7, 10125 Torino, Italy
NIS Interdepartmental Center, Universitá di Torino, Via P. Giuria 7, 10125 Torino, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1368;
Received: 31 August 2019 / Revised: 17 September 2019 / Accepted: 20 September 2019 / Published: 24 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Advanced Membrane Filtration Technologies)
Surfactant-templated 5 mol% Al2O3-doped silica membranes nanofiltration membranes were synthesized via the sol-gel method, and afterward, were optimized, and tested with respect to the permeability and rejection rate. The disordered silica network was stabilized by doping 5 mol% alumina. Tetraethyl orthosilicate and aluminum isopropoxide were used as the silica and alumina precursors, respectively. Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) was used not only as a pore-forming agent, but also to control the reaction rate of the aluminum isopropoxide, thus obtaining highly homogeneous materials. The results about filtration of model solutions showed that the optimized membranes are featured by both a relatively high water permeability (1.1–2.3 L·m−2·h−1 ·bar−1) and a high rejection for salts (74% for NaCl, and >95% for MgSO4 and Na2SO4) and organic pollutants (e.g., about 98% for caffeine). High rejection of divalent ions and organic molecules was also observed when a real wastewater effluent was filtered. The influence of the synthesis conditions on the membrane performance is discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: sol-gel; wastewater; depollution; desalination; selectivity sol-gel; wastewater; depollution; desalination; selectivity
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Ma, X.; Janowska, K.; Boffa, V.; Fabbri, D.; Magnacca, G.; Calza, P.; Yue, Y. Surfactant-Assisted Fabrication of Alumina-Doped Amorphous Silica Nanofiltration Membranes with Enhanced Water Purification Performances. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1368.

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