Antifouling Zwitterion Embedded Forward Osmosis Thin Film Composite Membrane for Highly Concentrated Oily Wastewater Treatment

W.J. Lee, P.S. Goh, W.J. Lau, Chi Siang Ong, A.F. Ismail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The raising oil consumption in oil and gas industries has exacerbated the disposal of oil waste into various water streams. This phenomenon has called for treatments to prevent threats to the human and environment. With some great advantages such as lower membrane fouling rate, lower energy requirement and higher water recovery rate compared to the conventional pressure-driven membrane processes, forward osmosis (FO) has been recognized as a potential candidate for oily wastewater treatment. In this study, a poly[3-(N-2-methacryloylxyethyl-N,N-dimethyl)-ammonatopropanesulfonate] (PMAPS) incorporated thin film composite (TFC) membrane with excellent anti-fouling properties was fabricated for oily wastewater through forward osmosis process. PMAPS was blended with polyethersulfone (PES) dope solution and cast into PES support layer. Interfacial polymerization (IP) technique was applied to form a thin polyamide (PA) layer atop of the PES support layer. The PMAPS incorporated TFC membranes were characterized for their morphology and surface hydrophilicity. The resultant 1% PMAPS-TFC membrane exhibited high water flux of 15.79 ± 0.3 L/m2.h and oil flux of 12.54 ± 0.8 L/m2.h when tested in FO mode for oil removal from oily wastewater using 1000 ppm emulsified oily solution as feed solution and 2 M NaCl as draw solution. The oil rejection up to 99% was also obtained. Most significantly, PMAPS incorporated TFC membrane outperformed neat TFC membrane with lower fouling propensity for oily waste treatment. When treating 10000 ppm oil emulsion, PMAPS-TFC was able to achieve average flux recovery rate of 97% while neat TFC only able to achieve 70.8% of average flux recovery rate.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-50
Number of pages11
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - Jul 7 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to acknowledge the financial supports provided by Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (HiCOE Grant: 4 J182 and FRGS Grant: 4F920).


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