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Issue 4, 2017
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Highly crosslinked, chlorine tolerant polymer network entwined graphene oxide membrane for water desalination

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Abstract

Graphene and its derivatives are very attractive for constructing membranes for high-efficiency separation applications including water purification and desalination. To develop practical desalination membranes, strictly controlled inter-layer distance of graphene-based laminates and strong adhesion of graphene-based selective layers onto a porous polymer substrate are required to provide high salt rejection properties and desirable mechanical durability with chlorine tolerance in membrane processes. However, there is a difficulty in stabilizing graphene nanosheets as a membrane selective layer for the desalination process and controlling their interlayer distance. In this work, we demonstrate the successful fabrication of a graphene-based thin-film composite membrane by integrating graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets into a highly crosslinked polymer network on a porous polymer substrate. The resulting poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-N,N′-methylene-bisacrylamide) entwined GO thin-film composite membrane has a main GO interlayer spacing of 0.48 nm and a GO–polymer thin film of less than 40 nm thick and shows excellent water flux (25.8 L m−1 h−1) and salt rejection (a NaCl rejection of 99.9%), alongside excellent mechanical stability and chlorine tolerance for the forward osmosis process. This polymer network entwined GO thin-film composite can be effectively tailored as a platform material for developing high-performance osmosis desalination membranes for industrial application.

Graphical abstract: Highly crosslinked, chlorine tolerant polymer network entwined graphene oxide membrane for water desalination

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Aug 2016, accepted on 14 Nov 2016 and first published on 22 Dec 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6TA07350F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 1533-1540
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    Highly crosslinked, chlorine tolerant polymer network entwined graphene oxide membrane for water desalination

    S. Kim, X. Lin, R. Ou, H. Liu, X. Zhang, G. P. Simon, C. D. Easton and H. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 1533
    DOI: 10.1039/C6TA07350F

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