Main content area

Enhancement of polysulfone membrane with integrated ZnO nanoparticles for the clarification of sweetwater

Mahmoudi, E., Ng, L.Y., Mohammad, A.W., Ba-Abbad, M.M., Razzaz, Z.
International journal of environmental science and technology 2018 v.15 no.3 pp. 561-570
fatty acids, fouling, glycerol, hydrophilicity, industry, nanoparticles, permeability, zinc oxide
Clarification is one of the main steps in producing glycerin from glycerin–rich solution (namely sweetwater) in oleo-chemical industry. In this study, ZnO nanoparticles (9–12 nm in diameter) were incorporated into polysulfone (PSf) membranes to improve the membrane antifouling properties toward the fatty acids in sweetwater. The hybrid membranes were fabricated through wet phase inversion method. The modified membranes exhibited better water permeability, membrane surface hydrophilicity (improvement from 82° to 62.1°) and resistance toward fouling by fatty acids. In this study, the best membrane was obtained in the presence of 3% of ZnO nanoparticles, which showed good fouling resistance, high solution flux and a very high rejection of fatty acids (≥80%) in comparison with the pure PSf membranes, at the same experimental conditions. The enhanced membrane performances during the clarification of sweetwater were attributed to the unique properties of ZnO nanoparticles that were uniformly dispersed in the PSf structures.