UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Antifouling and Flux Enhancement of Reverse Osmosis Membrane by Grafting Poly (3-Sulfopropyl Methacrylate) Brushes Mushtaq, Reema; Abbas, Muhammad Asad; Mushtaq, Shehla; Ahmad, Nasir M.; Khan, Niaz Ali; Khan, Asad U.; Hong, Wu; Sadiq, Rehan; Jiang, Zhongyi

Abstract

A commercial thin film composite (TFC) polyamide (PA) reverse osmosis membrane was grafted with 3-sulfopropyl methacrylate potassium (SPMK) to produce PA-g-SPMK by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The grafting of PA was done at varied concentrations of SPMK, and its effect on the surface composition and morphology was studied by Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), optical profilometry, and contact angle analysis. The grafting of hydrophilic ionically charged PSPMK polymer brushes having acrylate and sulfonate groups resulted in enhanced hydrophilicity rendering a reduction of contact angle from 58° of pristine membrane sample labeled as MH0 to 10° for a modified membrane sample labeled as MH3. Due to the increased hydrophilicity, the flux rate rises from 57.1 L m⁻² h⁻¹ to 71.2 L m⁻² h⁻¹, and 99% resistance against microbial adhesion (Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus) was obtained for MH3 after modification

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