Membrane Surface Functionalization with Imidazole Derivatives to Benefit Dye Removal and Fouling Resistance in Forward Osmosis

Jie Guo, Qiaoli Yang, Qing-Wei Meng, Cher Hon Lau, Qingchun Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Water contaminated with low concentrations of pollutants is more difficult to clean up than that with high pollutant content levels. Membrane separation provides a solution for removing low pollutant content from water. However, membranes are prone to fouling, losing separation performances over time. Here we synthesized—a neutral (IM-NH2) and positively-charged (IL-NH2) imidazole derivatives to chemically functionalize membranes. With distinct properties, these imidazole grafts could tailor membrane physicochemical properties and structures to benefit forward osmosis (FO) processes for the removal of 20 − 100 ppm of Safranin O dye − a common dye employed in the textile industry. The water fluxes produced by IM-NH2 and IL-NH2 -modified membranes increased by 67% and 122%, respectively, with DI water as the feed compared to that with the nascent membrane. A 39% flux increment with complete dye retention (∼ 100%) was achieved for the IL-NH2-modified membrane against 100
ppm of Safranin O dye. Regardless of the dye concentration, the IL-NH2 -modified membrane exhibited steadily higher permeation performance than the original membrane in long-term experiments. Reproducible experimental results were obtained with the IL-NH2 -modified membrane after cleaning with DI water, demonstrating the good antifouling properties and renewability of the newly developed membrane.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6710–6719
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Volume13
Issue number5
Early online date29 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2021

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