Development of novel h-BNNS/PVA porous membranes via Pickering emulsion templating†
Polymer-based membranes play an important role in water filtration, in particular in the removal of particles, microorganisms and organic pollutants. Developing a reliable fabrication method for membranes presenting both high flux and good selectivity remains challenging. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is a well-known polymer with promising perspectives due to its specific properties such as nontoxicity, biocompatibility and biodegradability which is of great interest within the context of developing green technologies. Herein, a new strategy using mainly water as a solvent to produce porous membranes based on PVA has been developed using emulsion templating involving hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets (h-BNNS) as a stabilizer. The membranes displaying a pore size around 1 μm show a water permeability over 2000 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 and a rejection efficiency of ∼100%. Moreover, the membranes did not show a significant reduction of their performances after particle filtration. The results indicated that the h-BNNS/PVA porous membranes fabricated via Pickering emulsion templating are good candidates to be used as microfiltration membranes.