Developing thin-film-composite forward osmosis membranes on the PES/SPSf substrate through interfacial polymerization

Kaiyu Wang, Tai Shung Neal Chung, Gary L. Amy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


A new scheme has been developed to fabricate high-performance forward osmosis (FO) membranes through the interfacial polymerization reaction on porous polymeric supports. p-Phenylenediamine and 1,3,5-trimesoylchloride were adopted as the monomers for the in-situ polycondensation reaction to form a thin aromatic polyamide selective layer of 150 nm in thickness on the substrate surface, a lab-made polyethersulfone (PES)/sulfonated polysulfone (SPSf)-alloyed porous membrane with enhanced hydrophilicity. Under FO tests, the FO membrane achieved a higher water flux of 69.8 LMH when against deionized water and 25.2 LMH when against a model 3.5 wt % NaCl solution under 5.0 M NaCl as the draw solution in the pressure-retarded osmosis mode. The PES/SPSf thin-film-composite (TFC)-FO membrane has a smaller structural parameter S of 238 μm than those reported data. The morphology and topology of substrates and TFC-FO membranes have been studied by means of atomic force microscopy and scanning electronic microscopy. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-781
Number of pages12
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 22 2011

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): SA-C0005/UK-C0002
Acknowledgements: The authors thank financial support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) by Award No SA-C0005/UK-C0002, and National University of Singapore (NUS) for funding this research project with the grant number of and R-279-000-265-598. Special thanks are due to Dr. Youchang Xiao, Dr. Jincai Su, Mr. Shipeng Sun, and Ms. Rui Chin Ong for their valuable suggestions.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering


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