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Preparation and characterisation of novel polysulfone membranes modified with Pluronic F-127 for reducing microalgal fouling

Harun Elcik, Mehmet Cakmakci, and Bestami Ozkaya

Department of Environmental Engineering, Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey

 

E-mail: helcik2010@gmail.com

Abstract: In this study, hydrophilic and fouling-resistant polysulfone (PS) membranes were fabricated using the phase inversion method to reduce membrane fouling caused by microalgal culture. The Pluronic F-127 polymer, which is used as a hydrophilic co-polymer, was added to the membranes to improve the membrane properties. Characteristic specifications of the fabricated membranes, such as morphology, surface roughness, chemical structures and hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, were studied using scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), attenuated total reflection-fourier infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy and contact angle devices. According to the results obtained, it was observed that, with the increase of the Pluronic F-127 concentration in the membranes, the surface roughness of the membranes decreased and hydrophilicity and permeation fluxes increased notably. Furthermore, it was observed that the addition of the Pluronic F-127 polymer into the membranes reduced reversible/irreversible membrane fouling. Additionally, a characterisation of the fouled membranes was performed for the purpose of comprehensively understanding the membrane fouling mechanism caused by microalgal culture.

Keywords: Membrane fabrication, Membrane fouling, Microalgae harvesting, Pluronic F-127, Antifouling

Full paper is available at www.springerlink.com.

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-016-0120-5

 

Chemical Papers 71 (7) 1271–1290 (2017)

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