Nano-WS2 embedded PES membrane with improved fouling and permselectivity
Bruggen, Bart Van der
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The application of nanoparticles as additives in membrane synthesis for improving the resistance of membranes against fouling has triggered recent interest in new membrane types. However, most nanoparticle-enhanced membranes suffer from the tradeoff between permeability and selectivity. In this paper, nano-WS2 was explored as the additive in membrane synthesis by non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS). Blended PES-WS2 flat-sheet membranes with the incorporation of ultra-low concentrations of nanoparticles (from 0.025% to 0.25%, WS2/PES ratio) were manufactured and investigated in terms of permeability, fouling resistance and solute rejection. Remarkably, a significant enhancement in the permeability was observed as a result of the incorporation of ultra-low fractions of nano-WS2 to the membrane structure. The optimum permeability values were obtained for modified membranes with 0.075-0.10% nanoparticle/polymer concentration ratios. In general, fouling resistance and solute rejection were significantly enhanced by the incorporation of nanoparticles into the membrane structure. Specifically, fouling resistance increased by around 50%.