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Fabrication of graphene oxide blended polyethersulfone membranes via phase inversion assisted by electric field for improved separation and antifouling performance

Wang, Xiao, Feng, Miao, Liu, Yan, Deng, Huining, Lu, Jun
Journal of membrane science 2019 v.577 pp. 41-50
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, anodes, artificial membranes, bovine serum albumin, electric field, fouling, graphene oxide, hydrophilicity, models
Novel antifouling blend polyethersulfoune (PES) membranes were prepared via phase inversion assisted by a direct current (DC) electric field with the addition of extremely low concentration of graphene oxide (GO). The GO particles were observed migrating toward the anode and better distributed in the casting solution with a DC electric field exerted. The effect of the applied DC electric field intensity on the properties of blend membranes was systematically investigated. The enrichment of GO on the membrane surface assisted by the electric field was confirmed by the enhanced hydrophilicity and negative charge density, and the XPS results. The blend PES membrane prepared under an electric field of 5000 V cm−1 exhibits not only a high water flux (289.63 Lm−2h−1), which is more than double of the pristine PES membrane (137.67 Lm−2h−1), but also an improved methyl red rejection. The membrane fouling performance was studied with bovine serum albumin (BSA) as model protein. The PES/GO membranes prepared under a 5000 V cm−1 electric field showed an obviously increased flux recovery ratio (FRR) and a decreased irreversible fouling ratio (Rir) value, compared to ones without using an electric field. The membrane fabrication assisted by an electric field opens a new way to enhance hydrophilicity, charge density, separation performance and antifouling ability of mixed matrix membranes.