Enhancing membrane wetting resistance through superhydrophobic modification by polydimethylsilane-grafted-SiO2 nanoparticles
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Membrane gas-liquid separation technology has been widely employed in membrane filtration, distillation, and gas absorption, attributed to its high mass transfer efficiency However, hydrophobic membranes may suffer from pore wetting at low operational pressure difference, leading to the deterioration of removal flux. Hence, anti-wetting strategy via membrane surface modification to improve its intrinsic hydrophobicity needs to be investigated. In this work, modified superhydrophobic polyvinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene (PVDF-HFP) membrane was synthesized via non-solvent induced phase separation. Polydimethylsilane-grafted-silica (PGS) nanoparticles with non-polar Si-O-Si bonds were used as surface modifier in coagulation bath to enhance membrane surface hydrophobicity. Results demonstrated that the addition of nanoparticles improved the surface roughness via formation of hierarchical structure. Additionally, the deposition of nanoparticles on polymer spherulites significantly reduced the surface free energy. As a result, modified membranes achieved superhydrophobicity with water contact angle exceeding 150°. The stability tests also showed that the deposition layer of modified membrane was mechanically and thermally robust. This super-hydrophobic modification by PGS nanoparticles is an advanced and facile approach to alleviate membrane wetting.
KeywordsSuperhydrophobic Surface Wetting Resistance Hierarchical Morphology Grafted-silica Nanoparticles
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This research work was supported by Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS under YUTP-FRG grant no. 0153AA-E08 and FRGS grant no 015MA0-003.
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