Influence of the Zeolite ZSM-22 Precursor on a UF-PES Selective Substrate Layer for Salts Rejection

Nyiko M. Chauke, Richard M. Moutloali, James Ramontja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Fabrication of the ZSM-22/Polyethersulfone (ZSM-22/PES) membranes as selective salt filters represent a growing membrane technological area in separation with the potential of high economic reward based on its low energy requirements. The incorporation of ZSM-22 zeolite material as additives into the PES polymer matrix has the prospective advantage of combining both the zeolite and polymer features while overcoming the limitations associated with both materials. This work investigated the influence of the nature of the silica precursor on ZSM-22 zeolite hydrothermally synthesised using colloidal (C60) and fumed (C60) silica to Si/Al of 60. The successful synthesis of the highly crystalline zeolitic materials was confirmed through XRD, FTIR, and SEM with EDX. The ZSM-22 additives were directly dispersed into a PES polymeric matrix to form a casting solution for the preparation of the ZSM-22/PES selective substrate layers via a phase inversion method for salts rejection. The polymeric PES was selected as an organic network in which the content of the ZSM-22 zeolite (ranging between 0 and 1.0 wt.%), was obtained and characterised by XRD, FTIR, and SEM analysis, as well as water contact angle (WCA) measurement and dead-end filtration cell. The phase inversion preparation method has induced the resulting ZSM-22/PES NF substrates anisotropy, as attributed to a high water flux to the above 700 L·m−2·h−1; high selectivity and rejection of salts to above 80% is revealed by the obtained results. The materials also exhibited improved antifouling behavior to above 70% flux recovery ratios. As such, the nature of the silica precursor influences ZSM-22 zeolite synthesis as a potential additive in the PES polymer matrix and led to the enhanced performance of the pure PES ultrafiltration membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Article number553
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • membrane preparation
  • membrane separation
  • nanocomposite membranes
  • nanofiltration membrane
  • polymeric membranes
  • zeolite ZSM-22 materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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