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Membrane Water Treatment
  Volume 7, Number 2, March 2016, pages 101-113

Hydrophilization of hydrophobic membrane surfaces for the enhancement of water flux via adsorption of water-soluble polymers
Ka Young Kim and Ji Won Rhim

    In this study, to improve the water flux of porous hydrophobic membranes, various water-soluble polymers including neutral, cationic and anionic polymers were adsorbed using 'salting-out' method. The adsorbed hydrophobic membrane surfaces were characterized mainly via the measurements of contact angles and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. To enhance the durability of the modified membranes, the water-soluble polymers such poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) were crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (GA) and found to be resistant for more than 2 months in vigorously stirred water. The water flux was much more increased when the ionic polymers used as the coating materials rather than the neutral polymer and in this case, about 70% of 0.31 L/m2·h (LMH) to 0.50 LMH was increased when 300 mg/L of polyacrylamide (PAAm) was used as the coating agents. Among the cationic coating polymers such as poly(styrene sulfonic acid-co-maleic acid) (PSSA_MA), poly(acrylic acid-comaleic acid) (PAM) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), PSSA_MA was found to be the best in terms of contact angle and water flux. In the case of PSSA_MA, the water flux was enhanced about 80%. The low concentration of the coating solution was better to hydrophilize while the high concentration inclined to block the pores on the membrane surfaces. The best coating condition was found: (1) coating concentration 150 to 300 mg/L, (2) ionic strength 0.15, (3) coating time 20 min.
Key Words
    hydrophobic membrane; hydrophilization; water-soluble polymers; salting-out; poly(vinyl alcohol); poly(styrene sulfonic acid-co-maleic acid); poly(acrylic acid-co-maleic acid)
Department of Advanced Materials and Chemical Engineering, Hannam University, 1646 Yuseongdae-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34054 Korea.

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