Development of Polydopamine Forward Osmosis Membranes with Low Reverse Salt Flux

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Abstract

Application of forward osmosis (FO) is limited due to membrane fouling and, most importantly, high reverse salt fluxes that deteriorate the concentrated product. Polydopamine (PDA) is a widely used, easily applicable, hydrophilic, adhesive antifouling coating. Among the coating parameters, surprisingly, the effect of PDA coating temperature on the membrane properties has not been well studied. Polyethersulfone (PES) 30 kDa ultrafiltration membranes were PDA-coated with varying dopamine concentrations (0.5-3 g/L) and coating temperatures (4-55 °C). The quality of the applied coating has been determined by surface properties, water permeability and reverse salt flux using a 1.2 M MgSO4 draw solution. The coating thickness increased both with the dopamine concentration and coating temperature, the latter having a remarkably stronger effect resulting in a higher PDA deposition speed and smaller PDA aggregates. In dead‑end stirred cell, the membranes coated at 55 °C with 2.0 g/L dopamine showed NaCl and MgSO4 retentions of 41% and 93%, respectively. In crossflow FO, a low reverse MgSO4 flux (0.34 g/m2·h) was found making a very low specific reverse salt flux (Js/Jw) of 0.08 g/L, which outperformed the commercial CTA FO membranes, showing the strong benefit of high temperature PDA-coated PES membranes to assure high quality products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
Number of pages15
JournalMembranes
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2020

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