Applied Surface Science, Vol.436, 1181-1192, 2018
The effects of surface-charged submicron polystyrene particles on the structure and performance of PSF forward osmosis membrane
Monodisperse surface-charged submicron polystyrene particles were designed, synthesized, and blended into polysulfone (PSF) support layer to prepare forward osmosis (FO) membrane with high performance. The membrane incorporated with particles were characterized with respect to morphology, porosity, and internal osmotic pressure (IOP). Results showed that the polymer particles not only increased the hydrophilicity and porosity of support layer, but also generated considerable IOP, which helped markedly decreasing the structure parameter from 1550 to 670 mu m. The measured mass transfer parameters further confirmed the beneficial effects of the surface-charged submicron polymer particles on the performance of FO membrane. For instance, the water permeability coefficient (5.37 L m(-2) h(-1) bar(-1)) and water flux (49.7 Lm(-2) h(-1)) of the FO membrane incorporated with 5 wt% particles were almost twice as much as that of FO membrane without incorporation. This study suggests that monodisperse surface-charged submicron polymer particles are potential modifiers for improving the performance of FO membranes. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.