Poly(vinylidine fluoride) (PVDF) asymmetric hydrophobic hollow fibers were fabricated successfully using dryjet wet spinning. Hydrophobic silver nanoparticles were synthesized and impregnated into the PVDF polymer matrix and functionally graded PVDF-silver nanocomposite hollow fibers are fabricated and tested in the direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) process. The as-synthesized silver nanoparticles were characterized for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), particle size distribution (PSD) and Ultra Violet (UV) visible spectroscopy. Both the PVDF and PVDF-silver nanocomposite asymmetric hollow fibers were characterized for their morphology, water contact angle and mechanical strength. Addition of hydrophobic silver nanoparticles was found to enhance the hydrophobicity and ~ 2.5 fold increase the mechanical strength of the hollow fibers. A water vapor flux of 31.9kg m-2 h-1 was observed at a feed inlet temperature of 80 °C and at a permeate temperature of 20 °C in the case of hollow fiber membrane modules fabricated using PVDF hollow fibers; the water vapor flux was found to be increased by about 8% and to reach 34.6kg m-2 h-1 for the hollow fiber membrane modules fabricated from the PVDF-silver nanocomposite hollow fibers at the same operating conditions with 99.99% salt rejection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)