Highly effective permeability and antifouling performances of polypropylene non-woven fabric membranes modified with graphene oxide by inkjet printing and immersion coating methods

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In the current study, graphene oxide (GO)-modified polypropylene non-woven fabric (PP-NWF) membranes were prepared via inkjet printing and immersion coating methods. Scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, contact angle measurements, pure water permeation (JPWP) and protein adsorption were tested to evaluate the impact of the GO nanosheet on the characteristics and performance of modified PP-NWF membranes. The results showed that the exfoliated GO nanosheets uniformly deposited on the membrane surface and firmly embedded into the interlaced fibers, resulting in the improvement of membrane hydrophilicity, permeability and antifouling properties comparing with original PP-NWF membranes. The GO-printed and GO-coated membranes had 113 and 188% higher fluxes, and 70.95 and 75.74% lower protein adsorptions than the original PP-NWF membranes, respectively. After cross-linked treatment, ultrasound processing was conducted to evaluate the stability of the modified PP-NWF membranes. The results demonstrated that there was almost no decrease in permeation after ultrasonic treatment indicating that the cross-linking treatment could enhance the immobilization of the GO nanosheets on and into the modified membranes.

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