UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Water Treatment Using High Performance Antifouling Ultrafiltration Polyether Sulfone Membranes Incorporated with Activated Carbon Abid, Zubia; Abbas, Asad; Mahmood, Azhar; Rana, Nosheen Fatima; Khan, Sher Jamal; Duclaux, Laurent; Dean, K. M.; Ahmad, Nasir M.

Abstract

Membrane fouling is a continued critical challenge for ultrafiltration membranes performance. In this work, polyether sulfone (PES) ultrafiltration (UF) membranes were fabricated via phase-inversion method by incorporating varying concentrations of APTMS modified activated carbon (mAC). The mAC was thoroughly characterized and the fabricated membranes were studied for their surface morphology, functional groups, contact angle, water retention, swelling (%) porosity, and water flux. The hydrophilicity of mAC membranes also resulted in lower contact angle and higher values of porosity, roughness, water retention as well as water flux. Also, the membranes incorporated with mAC exhibited antibacterial performance against model test strains of gram-negative Ecoil and gram-positive S. aureus. The antifouling studies based on bovine serum albumin protein (BSA) solution filtration showed that mAC membranes have better BSA flux. The higher flux and antifouling characteristics of the mAC membranes were attributed to the electrostatic repulsion of the BSA protein from the unique functional properties of AC and network structure of APTMS. The novel mAC ultrafiltration membranes developed and studied in present work can provide higher flux and less BSA rejection thus can find antifouling applications for the isolation and concentration of proteins and macromolecules.

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