The synthesis and characterization of novel bi-/trimetallic nanoparticles and their nanocomposite membranes for envisaged water treatment

Lwazi Ndlwana, Keneiloe Sikhwivhilu, Richard Motlhaletsi Moutloali, Jane Catherine Ngila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impact of worldwide water scarcity, further exacerbated by environmental pollution, necessitates the development of effective water treatment membranes. Herein, we report the synthesis and characterization of nanocomposite membranes containing hyperbranched polyethyleneimine (HPEI) stabilized bi-and trimetallic nanoparticles. These membranes were prepared by blending a pre-grafted Polyethersulfone (PES) powder with the Pd@Fe@HPEI and Pd@FeAg@HPEI nanoparticles followed by phase inversion. The membranes, together with stabilized nanoparticles, were characterized by several analytical techniques, such as attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), optical contact angle (OCA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). These techniques revealed the elemental composition, zerovalent nature of the nanoparticles, and their small and even size distribution. Surface analysis showed chemical bonding between the polymeric functional groups and the supported nanoparticles. Furthermore, the nanocomposite membranes were found to be hydrophilic. Additionally, the membranes were investigated for swelling (water uptake), porosity, pore size, pure water permeation fluxes, and they indicated a decreased protein adhesion property. As such, the membranes fabricated in this work indicate the required properties for application in water treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number232
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalMembranes
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Keywords

  • Catalytic nanocomposite membranes
  • Hyperbranched polyethyleneimine
  • Polyethersulfone membranes
  • Stabilized nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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