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Self-cleaning Metal Organic Framework (MOF) based ultra filtration membranes--a solution to bio-fouling in membrane separation processes.


PMID 25296745

Abstract

Bio-fouling is a serious problem in many membrane-based separation processes for water and wastewater treatment. Current state of the art methods to overcome this are to modify the membranes with either hydrophilic additives or with an antibacterial compound. In this study, we propose and practise a novel concept to prevent bio-fouling by developing a killing and self-cleaning membrane surface incorporating antibacterial silver nanoparticles and highly hydrophilic negatively charged carboxylic and amine functional groups. The innovative surface chemistry helps to reduce the contact angle of the novel membrane by at least a 48% and increase the pure water flux by 39.4% compared to the control membrane. The flux drop for the novel membrane is also lower (16.3% of the initial flux) than the control membrane (55.3% of the initial flux) during the long term experiments with protein solution. Moreover, the novel membrane continues to exhibit inhibition to microbes even after 1320 min of protein filtration. Synthesis of self-cleaning ultrafiltration membrane with long lasting properties opens up a viable solution for bio-fouling in ultrafiltration application for wastewater purification.

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