Reduction of Biofouling and Improvement of Flux Recovery in Microfiltration Membranes by Surface Coating in Liquid Carbon Dioxide

Reduction of Biofouling and Improvement of Flux Recovery in Microfiltration Membranes by Surface Coating in Liquid Carbon Dioxide
Membrane filtration; Biofouling; Surface coating; Hydrophilization
Issue Date
Membranes in Drinking and Industrial Water Treatment (MDIW) 2010
Membrane filtration processes involving microfiltration (MF) are pressure-driven separation processes which have been extensively used in areas of water purification and wastewater treatment. However, the sharp reduction of the flux far below the theoretical capacity mainly due to membrane biofouling which was typically caused by undesirable sorption of colloids, extracellular polymeric substances(EPS), and bacteria on the surface and internal pore of the membrane has become the detrimental problem in the efficiency and economics of the membrane separation process. It has been well known that hydrophilization has beneficial effects on antifouling ability of the membranes. Various hydrophilization techniques -- blending with hydrophilic polymers, surface grafing polymerization of hydrophilic monomer, chemical treatment, surface coating, and etc. -- have been proposed to increase the antifouling ability of the membranes. In this work, we propose a new hydrophilization method using liquid CO2 as the reaction medium to coat crosslinked hydrophilic monomer on the surface and in the pore of poly(vinylidene fluoride) MF membrane. Hydrophilic coating has been carried out by inducing crosslinking reaction of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) on the surface/pore of the membrane in liquid CO2. The effect of PEGDA concentration on the surface composition was characterized in detail using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and Electron Probe Micro Analysis EPMA). Water and BSA protein solution permeation measurements as well as sorption test using E. coli DH5a::pGFP were carried out to understand the efficiency and resistance of the coated PVDF membrane. As a result of XPS and FTIR, a modification of PVDF MF membrane by coating in liquid CO2 using PEGDA as monomer showed that PEGDA has been successfully coated in the membrane surface while the stable oxygen concen
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