Surface modification of thin film composite forward osmosis membrane by silver-decorated graphene-oxide nanosheets†
Forward osmosis (FO), as an emerging technology for seawater desalination and wastewater reuse, has been attracting significant interest because of its energy efficiency. However, membrane fouling represents one of the major limitations for this technology, notably for thin film composite (TFC) polyamide (PA) membranes, which are prone to chlorine attack. In this study, silver nanoparticle (AgNPs)-decorated graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets (as an effective biocidal material) were covalently bonded to the PA surface to impart improved hydrophilicity and antibacterial properties to the membrane. AgNPs were synthesized in situ by the wet chemical reduction of silver nitrate onto the surface of GO nanosheets. The formation of the composite was verified by UV-vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy techniques. The synthesized GO/Ag nanocomposites were then covalently bonded onto the TFC PA membrane surface using cysteamine through an amide forming condensation reaction. ATR-FTIR and XPS results confirmed the covalent bonding of the nanocomposite onto the TFC PA surface. Overall, the GO/Ag nanocomposite functionalized membranes exhibited super-hydrophilic properties (contact angles below 25°) and significant bacterial (E. coli) inactivation (over 95% in static bacterial inactivation tests) without adversely affecting the membrane transport properties.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization 2014