Zwitterions coated hollow fiber membranes with enhanced antifouling properties for osmotic power generation from municipal wastewater

Dieling Zhao, Guanglei Qiu, Xue Li, Chunfeng Wan, Kangjia Lu, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Fouling on pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) membranes leads to severe declines in water flux and power density because their porous substrates are facing the wastewater feed. Thus, inorganics, organics and microorganisms in the wastewater are prone to depositing on the substrate surface and even in its pores. In order to reduce the fouling propensity, coating the substrate surface of PRO membranes with zwitterionic materials proves to be an effective way. In this work, 2-methacryloyloxyethylphosphorylcholine (MPC), is modified and grafted onto the polydopamine (PDA) coated poly (ether sulfone) (PES) hollow fiber substrate. Both the synthesis and surface coating of MPC are easy and facile to be scaled up. Compared with the pristine PES and PES-PDA substrates, the MPC modified substrate (PES-PDA-MPC) exhibits high resistance to protein adsorption as well as bacteria adhesion. By using a state-of-the-art thin-film composite poly (ether sulfone) (TFC-PES) hollow fiber membrane as the control for power generation, the power density of the TFC-PES-PDA-MPC membrane can achieve as high as 7.7 W/m2 while the unmodified one has only 6.0 W/m2 after 3 h's PRO tests. In conclusion, the osmotic power generation of PRO membranes can be significantly sustained by modifying the membrane surface with zwitterions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalWater research
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Anti-fouling
  • Osmotic power
  • Poly(ether sulfone)
  • Pressure-retarded osmosis
  • Thin-film composite membranes
  • Zwitterion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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