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Membrane Water Treatment   Volume 8, Number 3, May2017, pages 211-223
Photodegradation stability study of PVDF- and PEI-based membranes for oily wastewater treatment process
C.S. Ong, W.J. Lau, B. Al-anzi and A.F. Ismail

Abstract     [Buy Article]
    In this work, an attempt was made to compare the effects of UV irradiation on the intrinsic and separation properties of membranes made of two different polymeric materials, i.e., polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and polyetherimide (PEI). The changes on membrane structural morphologies and chemical characteristics upon UV-A exposure (up to 60 h) were studied by FESEM and FTIR, respectively. It was found that cracks and fractures were detected on the PVDF-based membrane surface when the membrane was exposed directly to UV light for up to 60 h. Furthermore, the mechanical strength and thermal stability of irradiated PVDF-based membrane was reported to decrease with increasing UV exposure time. The PEI membrane surface meanwhile remained almost intact throughout the entire UV irradiation process. Filtration experiments showed that the permeate flux of UV-irradiated PVDF membrane was significantly increased from approximately 11 to 16 L/m2.h with increasing UV exposure time from zero to 60 h. Oil rejection meanwhile was decreased from 98 to 85%. For the PEI-based membrane, oil rejection of >97% was recorded and its overall structural integrity was marginally affected throughout the entire UV irradiation process. The findings of this work showed that the PEI-based membrane should be considered as the host for photocatalyts incorporation if the membrane was to be used for UV-assisted wastewater treatment process.
Key Words
    ultrafiltration; polymer; UV irradiation; degradation; morphology
C.S. Ong and B. Al-anzi : Department of Environment Technology and Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait
W.J. Lau and A.F. Ismail : Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia

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