Hydroxyl functionalized polytriazole-co-polyoxadiazole as substrates for forward osmosis membranes

Duong Phuoc, Stefan Chisca, Pei-Ying Hong, Hong Cheng, Suzana Pereira Nunes, Taishung Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hydroxyl functionalized polytriazole-co-polyoxadiazole (PTA-POD) copolymers have been synthesized and cast as promising highly thermally stable, chemically resistant, and antiorganic/biological fouling porous substrates for the fabrication of thin-film composite (TFC) forward osmosis (FO) membranes. The roles of PTA/POD ratios in the membrane substrates, TFC layers, and FO membrane performance have been investigated. This study demonstrates that the substrate fabricated from the copolymer containing 40 mol % PTA is optimal for the TFC membranes. Compared to the POD-TFC membrane, the 40 mol % PTA-TFC membrane exhibits a remarkable decrease in structural parameter (S) of more than 3.3 times. In addition, the 40 mol % PTA-TFC membrane is characterized by high water fluxes of 24.9 LMH and 47.2 LMH using 1 M NaCl as the draw solution and DI water as the feed under FO and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) modes, respectively. Compared to a polysulfone (PSU) supported TFC-FO membrane under similar fabrication conditions, the 40% mol PTA-TFC membrane shows better FO performance and enhanced antifouling properties on the support (lower protein binding propensity and improved bacterial inhibition). Moreover, the performance of the 40 mol % PTA supported TFC-FO membrane can be improved to 37.5 LMH (FO mode)/78.4 LMH (PRO mode) and potentially higher by optimizing the support morphology, the TFC formation, and the post-treatment process. Hence, the use of newly developed hydroxyl functionalized polytriazole-co-polyoxadiazole copolymers may open up a new class of material for FO processes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3960-3973
Number of pages14
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 11 2015

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for funding this research project. Thanks are due to Dr. Russell Tayouo and Mr. Yihui Xie for their kind help.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science

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