The development of high-performance and well-constructed thin-film composite (TFC) hollow fiber membranes for forward osmosis (FO) applications is presented in this study. The newly developed membranes consist of a functional selective polyamide layer formed by highly reproducible interfacial polymerization on a polyethersulfone (PES) hollow fiber support. Using dual-layer coextrusion technology to design and effectively control the phase inversion during membrane formation, the support was designed to possess desirable macrovoid-free and fully sponge-like morphology. Such morphology not only provides excellent membrane strength, but it has been proven to minimize internal concentration polarization in a FO process, thus leading to the water flux enhancement. The fabricated membranes exhibited relatively high water fluxes of 32-34 LMH and up to 57-65 LMH against a pure water feed using 2 M NaCl as the draw solution tested under the FO and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) modes, respectively, while consistently maintaining relatively low salt leakages below 13 gMH for all cases. With model seawater solution as the feed, the membranes could display a high water flux up to 15-18 LMH, which is comparable to the best value reported for seawater desalination applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry