Antifouling and antibacterial behavior of polyethersulfone membrane incorporating polyaniline@silver nanocomposites
Nanocomposites with antibacterial properties were synthesized through in situ reduction of silver ammonia aqueous solution (Ag(NH3)2OH) on polydopamine coated polyaniline (PANI) nanofibers. The obtained PANI@Ag nanocomposites were incorporated into polyethersulfone (PES) to fabricate composite ultrafiltration (UF) membranes by a phase inversion process. As characterized by FTIR, XRD and TEM analysis, Ag nanoparticles were uniformly assembled onto PANI nanofibers, which favored silver immobilization in the membrane matrix. The stability of silver in the composite membrane was further determined, with a slow silver release observed during static immersion and dynamic filtration tests. Compared with the pristine PES membrane, the PES/PANI@Ag membrane showed improved hydrophilicity, water flux and antifouling properties. Moreover, the PES/PANI@Ag membrane exhibited excellent anti-bacterial properties and anti-biofouling performance against Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis bacteria.