• 1 Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia
  • 2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Malaya, Jalan Profesor Diraja Ungku Aziz, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 3 Department of Chemical Engineering, Membrane Science and Technology Research Center (MSTRC), Gachsaran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Gachsaran, Iran
Environ Technol, 2023 Apr 09.
PMID: 36976335 DOI: 10.1080/09593330.2023.2197127


Membrane fouling during the filtration process is a perennial issue and could lead to reduced separation efficiency. In this work, poly(citric acid)-grafted graphene oxide (PGO) was incorporated into a matrix of single-layer hollow fibre (SLHF) and dual-layer hollow fibrr (DLHF) membranes, respectively, aiming to improve membrane antifouling properties during water treatment. Different loadings of PGO ranging from 0 to 1 wt% were first introduced into the SLHF to identify the best PGO loading for the DLHF preparation with its outer layer modified by nanomaterials. The findings showed that at the optimized PGO loading of 0.7 wt%, the resultant SLHF membrane could achieve higher water permeability and bovine serum albumin rejection compared to the neat SLHF membrane. This is due to the improved surface hydrophilicity and increased structural porosity upon incorporation of optimized PGO loading. When 0.7 wt% PGO was introduced only to the outer layer of DLHF, the cross-sectional matrix of the membrane was altered, forming microvoids and spongy-like structures (more porous). Nevertheless, the BSA rejection of the membrane was improved to 97.7% owing to an inner selectivity layer produced from a different dope solution (without the PGO). The DLHF membrane also demonstrated significantly higher antifouling properties than the neat SLHF membrane. Its flux recovery rate is 85%, i.e. 37% better than that of a neat membrane. By incorporating hydrophilic PGO into the membrane, the interaction of the hydrophobic foulants with the membrane surface is greatly reduced.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.