Cellulose Acetate Nanocomposite Membranes for Water Desalination Applications

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Interest in the use of membranes in water desalination applications has been increasingly developing due to their numerous advantages. Among the various desalination technologies, ‎Reverse Osmosis (RO) membrane processes are steadily becoming more reliable and cost competitive. Recent attempts were successful for the incorporation of nanofillers within membrane matrices with the aim of enhancing membrane performance and adding novel functionality. Randomly oriented CNTs and graphene sheets have been incorporated in both asymmetric and TFC membranes. However, the roles of these nanofillers in altering membrane performance have yet to be elucidated.In this work, phase inversion was used to prepare cellulose acetate (CA) membranes incorporating on the one hand functionalized CNTs and on the other graphene as nanofillers. Results indicated that both CNTs and graphene were well dispersed in the membranes matrix.The presence of CNTs and graphene enhanced membrane permeation, but had different impacts on salt retention. This might be resulting from the difference in interaction between the nanofiller and the polymer matrix affecting the interfacial regions between both, indicating the potential role of the interfacial regions in determining membrane performance for CA nanocomposite membranes.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Advanced Materials: TechConnect Briefs 2015
Published: June 14, 2015
Pages: 462 - 464
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications
ISBN: 978-1-4987-4727-1