Separation performance and interfacial properties of nanocomposite reverse osmosis membranes

MaryTheresa M. Pendergast, Asim K. Ghosh, E.M.V. Hoek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Four different types of nanocomposite reverse osmosis (RO) membranes were formed by interfacial polymerization of either polyamide (PA) or zeolite A-polyamide nanocomposite (ZA-PA) thin films over either pure polysulfone (PSf) or zeolite A-polysulfone nanocomposite (ZA-PSf) support membranes cast by wet phase inversion. All three nanocomposite membranes exhibited superior separation performance and interfacial properties relative to hand-cast TFC analogs including: (1) smoother, more hydrophilic surfaces (2) higher water permeability and salt rejection, and (3) improved resistance to physical compaction. Less compaction occurred for membranes with nanoparticles embedded in interfacially polymerized coating films, which adds further proof that flux decline associated with physical compaction is influenced by coating film properties in addition to support membrane properties. The new classes of nanocomposite membrane materials continue to offer promise of further improved RO membranes for use in desalination and advanced water purification. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-185
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-018-02
Acknowledgements: This publication is based on work supported in part by Award No. KUS-C1-018-02, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), in addition to the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) and NanoH2O Inc. Additional financial support for MTMP was provided by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship through Grant No. DGE-0707424. The authors wish to express their appreciation to Prof. Ajit Mal and Shri Harsh K. Vaid in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at UCLA for providing access to the Instron® mechanical testing instrument.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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