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Membrane Water Treatment
  Volume 6, Number 1, January 2015, pages 1-13
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12989/mwt.2015.6.1.001
 


Modification of ultrafiltration membranes with carbon nanotube buckypaper for fouling alleviation
Jin Guo, Jian-Hong Liu, Li-ying Wang and Hong Liu

 
Abstract
    The modification of ultrafiltration membranes with carbon nanotube (CNT) buckypaper on fouling control was investigated. Two types of commercially available flat-sheet membranes were used: PS35 and PES900C/D (PES) (the PS35 membranes were hydrophilic with a molecular weight cutoff of 20 kDa, and the PES membranes were hydrophobic with a molecular weight cutoff of 20 kDa). The CNT buckypaper modified ultrafiltration membranes were prepared by filtering a CNT suspension through the flat-sheet membrane in a dead-end ultrafiltration unit. After modification, the pure water flux of PES was significantly increased, while the pure water flux of PS35 was decreased. The properties of the CNT modified membranes were also investigated. Considering the antifouling properties, pure water flux of the modified membrane, and the stability of CNT buckypaper layer on the membrane surface, ethanol solution with a concentration of 50 wt.%, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with a larger diameter (30-50 nm), and the CNT loading with 7.5g/m2 was selected. The CNT buckypaper on the surface of ultrafiltration membranes can trap the pollutants in sewage effluent and prevent them reaching the surface of virgin membranes. Water quality analysis showed that the effluent quality of the modified membrane was obviously improved. The removal efficiency of humic acid and protein-like matters by the modified membrane was significant. These results indicate the potential application of the CNT buckypaper layer modified membranes in the field of wastewater reclaim.
 
Key Words
    carbon nanotube; ultrafiltration membrane; membrane fouling; membrane modification; wastewater treatment
 
Address
School of Environment and Energy Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, 100124, Beijing, China.
 

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