Polysulfone ultrafiltration membranes modified with carbon-coated alumina supported ni- TiO2 nanoparticles for water treatment: Synthesis, characterization and application

Bhekani S. Mbuli, Mphilisi M. Mahlambi, Catherine J. Ngila, Richard M. Moutloali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reports on the synthesis and characterisation of polysulfone (PSf) ultrafiltration (UF) membranes modified with carbon coated alumina Ni-doped titanium dioxide (CCA/ Ni-TiO2) nanoparticles. The syntheses of the membranes was carried out using the phase inversion process. The permeate flux of the membrane modified with 0.25% CCA/Ni-TiO2 nanoparticles (213.5±6.40 L.m-2.h-1) was found to be higher than that of the unmodified membrane (130.95±4.50 L.m-2.h-1) at 13.8 bar. The membrane modified with 0.50% CCA/Ni- TiO2 nanoparticles had the lowest permeate flux at 105.18±4.52 L.m-2.h-1. The improved water permeability was brought about by the hydrophilicity resulting from introduction of the hydroxyl groups of the nanoparticles. At 13.8 bar, the NaCl salt rejection properties of the mixed matrix membranes were relatively higher (31.38±1.23%) for the 0.25% PSf/CCA/ Ni-TiO2 membranes compared to that of the unmodified PSf membrane (12.76±1.10%). Similar observations were made for the Cr3+ heavy metal rejection, which ranged between 56.27±2.54% and 60.48±2.52% for the modified membranes. These results have demonstrated the role the electrostatic effects of the nanoparticles play in the rejection mechanism of the modified membranes when compared to the unmodified membranes. Unmodified membranes were found to reject 28.32±1.65% of Cr3+ heavy metals at the same pressure. Over a period of 180 minutes, the membranes were found to be more photocatalytically active towards bromophenol blue, and a maximum photodegradation efficiency of 81% was achieved compared to only 50.5% for methyl orange. The photo-degradation process for both dyes followed a pseudo-first-order reaction rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-232
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Membrane Science and Research
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Carbon coated alumina
  • Mixed matrix membrane
  • Polysulfone
  • TiO nanophotocatalyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Filtration and Separation

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