, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 3359–3373 | Cite as

A novel nanocomposite membrane containing modified cellulose nanocrystals for copper ion removal and dye adsorption from water

  • Fateme Rafieian
  • Mehdi JonoobiEmail author
  • Qingliang Yu
Original Research


The aim of this study was developing novel membranes based on polyethersulfone (PES) as matrix and amine functionalized cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) as nanofiller for copper ion and direct red-16 removal from water. The surface modification of CNC was performed using (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES) and confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Then, PES membranes were prepared by embedding various concentrations (0, 0.1, 0.5, and 1 wt%) of modified CNC (MCNC). The results showed that the maximum adsorption capacity of copper ions was 90% for membranes containing 1 wt% MCNC. Dye removal percentage was 89% for neat PES and increased to 99% for 1 wt% MCNC loading. The outcomes of this study demonstrated that incorporating this type of modified CNC in PES membranes improved the efficacy of impurities removal from water and can be suggested as a simple technique for water filtration.

Graphical abstract


Cellulose nanocrystal (3-Aminopropyl)triethoxysilane Nanocomposite membranes Water purification 



The authors wish to acknowledge to the Iranian National Science Foundation for the financial support of the Research Project (# 92043921) and also the University of Tehran.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural CollegeUniversity of TehranKarajIran
  2. 2.Department of Wood and Paper Science and Technology, Faculty of Natural ResourcesUniversity of TehranKarajIran
  3. 3.Department of Built EnvironmentEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

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