Improvements in permeation and fouling resistance of PVC ultrafiltration membranes via addition of Tetronic-1107 and Triton X-100 as two non-ionic and hydrophilic surfactants

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Two non-ionic and hydrophilic surfactant additives, Tetronic-1107 and Triton X-100, were added to poly(vinyl chloride)/NMP polymeric solution to prepare ultrafiltration membranes via immersion precipitation. Surfactants at three different weight percentages up to 6 wt% were added, and the fabricated membranes were characterized and their performance for water treatment in the presence of bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a foulant was assessed. The scanning electron microscopy images indicated remarkable changes in morphology due to higher thermodynamic instability after surfactant addition. The membranes are more porous with more macro-voids in the sub-layer. Plus, the membranes become more hydrophilic. Water flux increases for the modified membranes by nearly two times and the ability of membranes for flux recovery increases from 66% to over 83%. BSA rejection reduces slightly with the addition of surfactants, however this parameter is still almost over 90% for the membranes with the highest amount of surfactants.

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