Akther, N, Lim, S, Tran, VH, Phuntsho, S, Yang, Y, Bae, TH, Ghaffour, N & Shon, HK 2019, 'The effect of Schiff base network on the separation performance of thin film nanocomposite forward osmosis membranes', Separation and Purification Technology, vol. 217, pp. 284-293.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. In this study, Schiff base network-1 (SNW-1) nanoparticles, which are covalent organic frameworks (COFs), were used as fillers in the polyamide (PA) active layer to elevate the performance of thin-film nanocomposite (TFN) forward osmosis (FO) membranes. The TFN membranes were prepared by interfacial polymerization (IP) of m-phenylenediamine (MPD) and trimesoyl chloride (TMC), and the SNW-1 nanoparticles were dispersed in the MPD aqueous solution at various concentrations. The secondary amine groups of SNW-1 nanoparticles reacted with the acyl chloride groups of TMC during the IP reaction to form strong covalent/amide bonds, which facilitated better interface integration of SNW-1 nanoparticles in the PA layer. Additionally, the incorporation of amine-rich SNW-1 nanoparticles into the TFN membranes improved their surface hydrophilicity, and the porous structure of SNW-1 nanoparticles offered additional channels for transport of water molecules. The TFN0.005 membrane with a SNW-1 nanoparticle loading of 0.005 wt% demonstrated a higher water flux than that of pristine TFC membrane in both AL-FS (12.0 vs. 9.3 L m−2 h−1) and AL-DS (25.2 vs. 19.4 L m−2 h−1) orientations when they were tested with deionized water and 0.5 M NaCl as feed and draw solution, respectively.
Lim, S, Tran, VH, Akther, N, Phuntsho, S & Shon, HK 2019, 'Defect-free outer-selective hollow fiber thin-film composite membranes for forward osmosis applications', Journal of Membrane Science, vol. 586, pp. 281-291.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. This study presents the successful fabrication of a novel defect-free outer-selective hollow fiber (OSHF) thin-film composite (TFC) membrane for forward osmosis (FO) applications. Thin and porous FO membrane substrates made of polyether sulfone (PES) with a dense and smooth outer surface were initially fabricated at different air-gap distances. A modified vacuum-assisted interfacial polymerization (VAIP) technique was then successfully utilised for coating polyamide (PA) layer on the hollow fiber (HF) membrane substrate to prepare OSHF TFC membranes. Experimental results showed that the molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) of the surface of the membrane substrate should be less than 88 kDa with smooth surface roughness to obtain a defect-free PA layer via VAIP. The FO test results showed that the newly developed OSHF TFC membranes achieved water flux of 30.2 L m−2 h−1 and a specific reverse solute flux of 0.13 g L−1 using 1 M NaCl and DI water as draw and feed solution, respectively. This is a significant improvement on commercial FO membranes. Moreover, this OSHF TFC FO membrane demonstrated higher fouling resistance and better cleaning efficiency against alginate-silica fouling. This membrane also has a strong potential for scale-up for use in larger applications. It also has strong promise for various FO applications such as osmotic membrane bioreactor (OMBR) and fertilizer-drawn OMBR processes.
Tran, VH, Lim, S, Han, DS, Pathak, N, Akther, N, Phuntsho, S, Park, H & Shon, HK 2019, 'Efficient fouling control using outer-selective hollow fiber thin-film composite membranes for osmotic membrane bioreactor applications.', Bioresource technology, vol. 282, pp. 9-17.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper investigates the efficiency of fouling mitigation methods using a novel outer selective hollow fiber thin-film composite forward osmosis (OSHF TFC FO) membrane for osmosis membrane bioreactor (OMBR) system treating municipal wastewater. Two home-made membrane modules having similar transport properties were used. Two operation regimes with three different fouling mitigation strategies were utilized to test the easiness of membrane for fouling cleaning. These two membrane modules demonstrated high performance with high initial water flux of 14.4 LMH and 14.1 LMH and slow increase rate of mixed liquor's salinity in the bioreactor using 30 g/L NaCl as draw solution. OMBR system showed high removals of total organic carbon and NH4 + -N (>98%). High fouling cleaning efficiency was achieved using OSHF TFC FO membrane with different fouling control methods. These results showed that this membrane is suitable for OMBR applications due to its high performance and its simplicity for fouling mitigation.
Tran, VH, Phuntsho, S, Park, H, Han, DS & Shon, HK 2017, 'Sulfur-containing air pollutants as draw solution for fertilizer drawn forward osmosis desalination process for irrigation use', Desalination, vol. 424, pp. 1-9.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Elsevier B.V. This study investigated suitability and performance of the sulfur-based seed solution (SBSS) as a draw solution (DS), a byproduct taken from the photoelectrochemical (PEC) process where the SBSS is used as an electrolyte for H 2 production. This SBSS DS is composed of a mixture of ammonium sulfate ((NH 4 ) 2 SO 4 ) and ammonium sulfite ((NH 4 ) 2 SO 3 ), and it can be utilized as fertilizer for fertilizer drawn forward osmosis (FDFO) desalination of saline water. The FDFO process employed with thin-film composite (TFC) membrane and showed that the process performance (i.e. water flux and reverse salt flux) is better than that with cellulose triacetate (CTA) membrane. In addition, it produced high water flux of 19 LMH using SBSS as DS at equivalent concentration at 1 M and 5 g/L NaCl of feed solution (model saline water). Experimental results showed that the reverse salt flux of SBSS increased with the increase in pH of the DS and that lowering the concentration of ammonium sulfite in the SBSS led to the higher water flux of feed solution. The result also demonstrated that this SBSS is practically suitable for the FDFO process toward development of water-energy-food nexus technology using sulfur chemicals-containing air pollutant.