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Enhanced Hydrophilicity and Water Flux of Poly(ether sulfone) Membranes in the Presence of Aluminum Fumarate Metal–Organic Framework Nanoparticles: Preparation and Characterization

Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019, 11, 16, 15060–15070
Publication Date (Web):April 3, 2019
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society

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    The aim of this study is to examine the effect of the addition of aluminum fumarate (AlFu) nanoparticles on the properties of poly(ether sulfone) (PES) membranes, where the AlFu nanoparticles were synthesized as the nanofillers with the metal–organic framework and their structure was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) analyses. Subsequently, PES/AlFu mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) were fabricated in different weight percentages of nanofiller through the phase inversion method and the membrane characterization was accomplished by FTIR, XRD, FESEM, transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and elemental mapping analyses. The effect of the addition of nanoparticles on the membrane properties was investigated by measuring the membrane hydrophilicity, pure water flux, solute rejection, and fouling resistance using a dead-end cell under constant pressure and bovine serum albumin as a foulant. The molecular weight cutoff (MWCO) of MMMs was measured by the rejection of poly(ethylene glycol) in various molecular weights, and the membrane surface roughness, porosity, and mean pore radius were calculated. The results showed that AlFu nanoparticles increased the hydrophilicity and porosity of the neat PES membranes and consequently increased the water permeability such that MMM including 0.75 wt % of AlFu possessed the maximum porosity (62.2%), mean pore radius (10.2 nm), and MWCO (154 kDa). Furthermore, this membrane exhibits a superlative flux recovery and minimal total resistance in the antifouling properties examinations.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b01848.

    • FTIR patterns of MMMs with different loadings of AlFu nanoparticles (Figure S1); FESEM images of the cross-sectional morphology of composite membranes with different AlFu loadings; (a1, b1): 0.25 wt %, (a2, b2): 0.5 wt % (Figure S2); and (a) top view FESEM image and (b) TEM image of the MMM containing 1 wt % of AlFu nanoparticles (Figure S3) (PDF)

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