Development of thin film composite membranes for osmotically driven membrane processes

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Osmotically driven membrane processes nowadays have gained attention in research area as well as for industry application due to their high potential in providing sustainable solutions for clean water and clean energy by forward osmosis (FO) and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) processes, respectively. However, one of the major issues of these membrane processes is severe internal concentration polarization (ICP) occurring in the membrane support layer which limits the osmotic driving force. Therefore, membrane support layer of thin film composite membranes for engineered osmosis need to be carefully designed with highly porosity, hydrophilic property and low tortuosity to mitigate ICP effect. To improve osmosis membrane performance, in this study, different types of membrane substrates were prepared and modified using various techniques such as an incorporation of graphene oxide nanomaterial, surface modification with polyvinyl alcohol coating and dual-layered hydrophilic/hydrophobic nanofiber membranes via a coaxial electrospinning. Experiment results revealed that hydrophilic modifications of membrane support layers for thin film composite membranes have high potential in improving engineered osmosis performance.
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