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Development of antifouling thin-film-composite membranes for seawater desalination

Rana, Dipak, Kim, Yekyung, Matsuura, Takeshi, Arafat, Hassan A.
Journal of membrane science 2011 v.367 no.1-2 pp. 110-118
Escherichia coli, artificial membranes, biofouling, chloroform, citrates, composite materials, desalination, films (materials), lactates, seawater, silica, silver, silver nitrate, sodium chloride, sodium humate, water purification
The present contribution provides detailed information about the development of antifouling novel thin-film-composite (TFC) membranes for mostly water purification with special emphasis on seawater desalination in particular. The novel membranes were prepared by incorporating in-situ hydrophilic surface modifying macromolecules (iLSMM) into the TFC membranes, rendering the surface of the TFC membranes significantly more hydrophilic. The prepared membranes were then subjected to long term fouling studies using model foulants, including sodium humate (SH), silica particles (SPs), and chloroform (CF) spiked in the feed NaCl solution. The biofouling effect of silver salts was also studied by incorporating some silver salts (silver citrate hydrate, SCH; silver lactate, SL; and silver nitrate, SN) simultaneously with iLSMM into the TFC membranes. Halo test was conducted with Escherichia coli to examine the antibiofouling performance of the silver incorporated TFC membranes. It can be concluded by this work that iLSMM incorporated TFC membranes have performed excellently for the desalination of salty water (3.5wt% NaCl), especially when the solution was spiked with typical foulants such as SH, SPs, and CF. The flux reduction was reduced significantly when iLSMM was incorporated in the TFC membranes by a newly developed technique. The antimicrobial fouling intensity of the studied membrane was in the order of: SN (ring width 0.55mm)>SL (0.27mm)>SCH (0.19mm).