A sulfonated polyphenylenesulfone (sPPSU) as the supporting substrate in thin film composite (TFC) membranes with enhanced performance for forward osmosis (FO)

Natalia Widjojo, Tai-Shung Chung*, Martin Weber, Christian Maletzko, Volker Warzelhan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations

Abstract

The new sulfonated polyphenylenesulfone (sPPSU) materials synthesized via direct route with various content of sulfonated units, i.e., 2.5 and 5. mol% 3,3'-di-sodiumdisulfate-4,4'-dichlorodiphenyl sulfone (sDCDPS) monomer, have been effectively implemented as supporting layers of the thin film composite (TFC) membranes for forward osmosis (FO) applications. Not only does the hydrophilic nature of membrane substrates essentially facilitate the water transport across the membrane during the FO process, but also possibly provide anti-fouling characteristics as well as induce the formation of fully sponge-like structures. Compared to TFC-FO membranes made of hydrophobic non-sulfonated PPSU supporting layers, those made of hydrophilic sPPSU supporting layers comprising 2.5. mol% sDCDPS can achieve a 4.4-fold increment on water flux up to 54 LMH with 8.8 gMH salt reverse flux under the pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) mode using 2. M NaCl as draw solution. Surprisingly, the newly developed TFC-FO membranes show a much smaller difference in water flux between PRO and FO modes compared to previous works, indicating much lower ICP, particularly at low draw solution concentrations, i.e. 0.5-2. M NaCl. When tested for seawater desalination using 3.5. wt% NaCl as the feed and 2. M NaCl as the draw solution, the aforementioned membrane show a water flux up to 22 LMH under the PRO mode, which is the highest ever reported. Furthermore, the structural parameter indicating the internal concentration polarization (ICP) can be remarkably decreased with an increase in sulphonated material contents in membrane substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume220
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 5 2013

Keywords

  • Directly sulfonated polymer
  • Forward osmosis
  • Hydrophilic substrate
  • Interfacial polymerization
  • Sponge-like structure
  • Thin film composite (TFC) membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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