Mixed matrix membranes incorporated with sonication-assisted ZIF-8 nanofillers for hazardous wastewater treatment

  • Mohsin Ali
  • Muhammad Aslam
  • Amin Khan
  • Mazhar Amjad Gilani
  • Asim Laeeq KhanEmail author
Research Article


Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) provide a unique pathway to treat hazardous industrial effluents. MMMs containing zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) as filler in polydimethoxysilane (PDMS) matrix were synthesized. ZIF-8 was prepared using a modified recipe and characterized by different techniques to evaluate its morphology, thermal stability, surface area, pore volume, and other characteristics. The performance of membranes was evaluated for their application in industrial dye-stuff wastewater treatment and solvent-resistant nanofiltration. The results demonstrated that increase in the percentage of ZIF-8 loading in PDMS led to simultaneous increase in the solvent permeability as well as solute rejection from wastewater. The permeability of MMMs increased up to 32% as compared with neat PDMS membrane. The organic dye rejection was achieved more than 87% with MMMs incorporated with 20% loading of nanofillers. Rejection of MMMs was 22% higher than that of unfilled PDMS membrane due to the effect of reduced polymer swelling and size exclusion of the nanofillers. Membrane swelling tests with toluene and isopropanol demonstrated that nanofiller amount has inverse relation with membrane swelling, which implied that nanofillers were in good interaction with polymer and allowed defect free membranes with higher solute rejections and reduced membrane swelling.


Hazardous wastewater, mixed matrix membrane ZIF-8 nanofillers Solvent-resistant nanofiltration Membrane swelling 


Funding information

Dr. A. L. Khan would like to thank Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan, for their grant under NRPU Project no. 3514.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohsin Ali
    • 1
    • 2
  • Muhammad Aslam
    • 1
    • 3
  • Amin Khan
    • 2
  • Mazhar Amjad Gilani
    • 4
  • Asim Laeeq Khan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringCOMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Lahore CampusLahorePakistan
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biological EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Environmental EngineeringInha UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryCOMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Lahore CampusLahorePakistan

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