Fluorographite modified PVDF membranes for seawater desalination via direct contact membrane distillation

Dieling Zhao, Jian Zuo, Kang Jia Lu, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Membranes with high hydrophobicity are essential for membrane distillation of seawater desalination. A facile surface modification method has been developed to obtain hydrophobic PVDF membranes by depositing fluorographite particles on the membrane surface. The surface hydrophobicity increases with an increase in the number of fluorographite particles on the membrane surface. After the fluorographite modification, the resultant membranes exhibit good wetting resistance and better performance sustainability in direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) tests using a highly concentrated (10 wt%) sodium chloride solution. The modified PVDF membrane can last about 200 h while the pristine PVDF membrane can only sustain about 70 h. A variety of techniques including field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were applied to examine the effects of the fluorographite modification on surface chemistry and morphology of the derived membranes. This work may provide a facile and useful approach for the hydrophobic modification of MD membranes for seawater desalination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the financial support from Singapore National Research Foundation under its Energy Innovation Research Programme. The project is entitled “Using Cold Energy from Re-gasification of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for Novel Hybrid Seawater Desalination Technologies” (Grant No.: R279-000-456-279). We would also gratefully thank Arkema Inc. for their kind support (Grant No.: R- 279-000-473-597).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Fluorographite
  • Membrane distillation
  • Seawater desalination
  • Surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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