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High-efficiency ultrafiltration nanofibrous membrane with remarkable antifouling and antibacterial ability

Abstract

Fouling in ultrafiltration (UF) membranes for water treatment results in a decrease in filtration efficiency and a deterioration in water quality. In this work, a self-supporting hydrophilic nanofibrous membrane was obtained by mixing a multi-arms amphiphilic fluxible poly(p-phenylene terephthalamide) (f-PPTA) with poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) in solution followed by electrospinning process. Notably, f-PPTA migrated to the nanofibers surface owing to its self-mobility and induction by electric field force. Therefore, hydrophilic chains provided by f-PPTA greatly increased the wettability of the whole membrane, since f-PPTA was introduced during the membrane preparation. The multi-arms f-PPTA acted as the water channel in nanofibrous membrane, accelerating the process of water molecules flowing through the membrane. This increasing electric field force caused by f-PPTA had a great effect on regulating the nanofiber diameter and pore size of the nanofibrous membrane, which further influenced the filtration performance. Consequently, the pure water flux reached to 9.0×104 L/(m2·h) at 0.2 Mpa when the f-PPTA addition amount was 20 wt% of PVDF, which was 2.3 times higher than that of the neat PVDF nanofibrous membrane. Undoubtedly, amphiphilic f-PPTA proved to show excellent compatibility with PVDF, which avoided the problems of hydrophilic polymer easily being washed out and inorganic nanoparticles aggregation, hence the modified nanofibrous membranes exhibited a relatively stable filtration flux. After operation 6 h the membrane kept approximately 89% of the initial flux and the BSA rejection also kept approximately 99%. The membrane with more hydrophilic chains improved the antifouling ability and prevented from being fouled on the membrane surface and inside pore structure. Additionally, as a polymer-based cationic antibacterial agent, f-PPTA also played a key role in improving the antibacterial activity. Overall, the membrane achieved comprehensive performance of a sustainable high permeation flux, remarkable antifouling and antibacterial activity, which is promising candidate for UF application in water treatment.

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Mar 2018, accepted on 30 Apr 2018 and first published on 02 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA02649A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    High-efficiency ultrafiltration nanofibrous membrane with remarkable antifouling and antibacterial ability

    Z. Chen, X. Du, Y. Liu, Y. Ju, S. Song and L. dong, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA02649A

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