Flux enhancement of thin-film composite membrane by graphene oxide incorporation.J Environ Health Sci Eng 2019; 17(1):377-382JE
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a rapid-developing desalination technology; however, it suffers from inefficient energy consumption. To reduce energy consumption, in this study, reverse osmosis thin-film composite membrane (TFC) module was prepared and composed of m-phenylenediamine (MPD), graphene oxide, and 1,3,5-benzenetricarbonyl chloride (TMC) by interfacial polymerization on the surface of a polysulfone substrate. The graphene oxide was embedded in the mentioned thin-film composite by adding it to MPD aqueous solution to enhance permeation flux and, thus, reduce energy consumption. This study assessed the performance of the membrane using a lab-scale RO setup and evaluated permeability and salt rejection. The chemical properties of TFC were also analyzed using ATR-FTIR. Incorporating various concentrations (0, 20, 40, 60, and 80 ppm) of graphene oxide into the TFC was shown to improve water flux. Flux improvement of 50% was achieved by using graphene (80 ppm), while 10% of salt rejection was lost. These flux increases resulted from the changes in surface charge, surface roughness, and hydrophilicity due to the embedment of GO nanosheets. The simplicity of the method, compatibility of GO with polyamide membrane, and quite short-time reaction are the highlights of this technique for developing novel TFC membranes for water treatment.