Surface modification of thin-film composite forward osmosis membranes with polyvinyl alcohol–graphene oxide composite hydrogels for antifouling properties

Nawshad Akther, Syed Muztuza Ali, Sherub Phuntsho, Hokyong Shon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, the polyamide (PA) layers of commercial thin-film composite (TFC) forward osmosis (FO) membranes were coated with glutaraldehyde cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel comprising of graphene oxide (GO) at various loadings to enhance their fouling resistance. The optimal GO concentration of 0.02 wt% in hydrogel solution was confirmed from the FO membrane performance, and its influence on membrane antifouling properties was studied. The properties of the modified membranes, such as surface morphology, surface charge and wettability, were also investigated. PVA/GO coating was observed to increase the smoothness and hydrophilicity of the membrane surface. The foulant resistances of the pristine, PVA-coated and PVA/GO-coated membranes were also reported. PVA hydrogel-coated TFC membrane with a GO loading of 0.02 wt% showed a 55% reduction in specific reverse solute flux, only a marginal reduction in the water flux, and the best antifouling property with a 58% higher flux recovery than the pristine TFC membrane. The significant improvement in the selectivity of the modified membranes meant that the hydrogel coating could be used to seal PA defects. The biocidal GO flakes in PVA hydrogel coating also improved the biofouling resistance of the modified membranes, which could be attributed to their morphologies and superior surface properties.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114591
JournalDesalination
Volume491
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

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