Open porous hydrophilic supported thin-film composite forward osmosis membrane via co-casting for treatment of high-salinity wastewater

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Desalination, 2017, 405 pp. 76 - 84
Issue Date:
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© 2016 High-performance thin film composite (TFC) forward osmosis (FO) membranes with a low degree of internal concentration polarization (ICP) are critical for concentrating high-salinity wastewaters. This report focuses on the preparation of TFC FO membranes via a sacrificial approach. In order to improve the FO flux, hydrophilicity and morphology of the support membrane were mainly investigated. The hydrophilicity of the polysulfone (PSF) substrate was tuned by blending with sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone) (SPEEK), and the resulting SPEEK blended PSF membrane was denoted as SPSF substrate. The pore structure of the SPSF membrane was tailored by the application of a co-casting technique, which yielded a TFC membrane with a structure parameter (S) of 191 μm. In contrast, the TFC membranes based on the PSF and SPSF substrates through single layer casting showed S values of 527 μm and 361 μm, respectively. These results indicate that the combined hydrophilicity and open pore structure are responsible for the lowered S value. Further application of the hydrophilic substrate based TFC membranes in the treatment of high salinity wastewaters (10 wt%) demonstrated the higher initial water flux (28.3 L/m2·h) with a water recovery rate of 53.2% in comparison to the TFC membrane based on the pristine PSF through the single layer casting. This new method paves a way to generate high-performing FO membranes.
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