Fabrication of polysulfone nanocomposite membranes with silver-doped carbon nanotubes and their antifouling performance
Al?Hamouz, Othman Charles S.
Atieh, Mautaz Ali
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In this study, polysulfone (PSf)/silver-doped carbon nanotube (Ag-CNT) nanocomposite membranes were prepared by a phase-inversion technique; they were characterized and evaluated for fouling-resistant applications with bovine serum albumin (BSA) solutions. Carbon nanotubes were doped with silver nanoparticles via a wet-impregnation technique. The prepared Ag-CNT nanotubes were characterized with scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. The fabricated flat-sheet PSf/Ag-CNT nanocomposite membranes with different Ag-CNT loadings were examined for their surface morphology, roughness, hydrophilicity, and mechanical strength with SEM, atomic force microscopy, contact angle measurement, and tensile testing, respectively. The prepared composite membranes displayed a greater rejection of BSA solution (?90%) and water flux stability during membrane compaction with a 10% reduction in water flux values (up to 0.4% Ag-CNTs) than the pristine PSf membrane. The PSf nanocomposite membrane with a 0.2% Ag-CNT loading possessed the highest flux recovery of about 80% and the lowest total membrane resistance of 56% with a reduced irreversible fouling resistance of 21%.
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