Tailoring the Performance of Organic Solvent Nanofiltration Membranes with Biophenol Coatings

Fan Fei, Hai Anh Le Phuong, Christopher F. Blanford, Gyorgy Szekely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


This study reports a systematic investigation of fine-tuning the filtration performance of nanofiltration membranes with biophenol coatings to produce solvent-resistant membranes with 390–1550 g mol–1 molecular weight cutoff (MWCO) and 0.5–40 L m–2 h–1 bar–1 permeance. Six kinds of inexpensive, commercial biophenols (dopamine, tannic acid, vanillyl alcohol, eugenol, morin, and quercetin) were subjected to identical oxidant-promoted polymerization to coat six kinds of loose asymmetric membrane supports: polyimide (PI), polyacrylonitrile (PAN), polysulfone (PSf), polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), polybenzimidazole (PBI), and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The coatings were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and the morphologies were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The long-term stability of 42 membranes were tested in 12 organic solvents, including emerging green solvents MeTHF and Cyrene. The biophenol coatings led to tighter membranes with a decrease in MWCO of 12–79% at a penalty of a 22–92% permeance decrease in acetone.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-460
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-07-12
Acknowledgements: The authors give thanks for the experimental support from Abdulaziz Alammar (TGA) and the scientific discussions with Levente Cseri. This work was supported by the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through an award from the BioProNET Network in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (BB/
L013770/1). F.F. acknowledges the financial support from his family for his doctoral studies. H.A.L.P. acknowledges the financial support from EPSRC Doctoral Training Award.


Dive into the research topics of 'Tailoring the Performance of Organic Solvent Nanofiltration Membranes with Biophenol Coatings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this