p-Phenylenediamine-grafted multi-walled carbon nanotubes as a hydrophilic modifier in thin-film nanocomposite membrane


In this paper, an efficient thin-film nanocomposite (TFN) membrane was synthesized by interfacial polymerization and used for water desalination. Piperazine (PIP) and trimesoyl chloride were used as monomers, and p-phenylenediamine-grafted multi-walled carbon nanotube (p-PDA-MWCNT) was used as a hydrophilic modifier to enhance the performance of the polysulfone nanofiltration membrane. In order to characterize the synthesized p-PDA-MWCNTs, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and electron-dispersive spectroscopy were used. In order to enhance the performance of the membrane, different concentrations of p-PDA-MWCNTs (0.01, 0.02, 0.04, 0.05 and 0.075 wt%) were added to the PIP solution to prepare p-PDA-MWCNTs-embedded membranes. To check the performance of the modified membrane, solutions of 1000 mg L−1 Na2SO4, MgSO4, NaCl and CaCl2 were tested. The results show that TFN-modified membrane provides excellent water permeability and also salt rejection in the presence of 0.02 wt% p-PDA-MWCNTs which shows superior improvement in TFN membrane.

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The authors wish to thank the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad for the financial support of the Ph.D. project of Mr. Sina Solouki with the Grant No. of 16589.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Shokouhian.

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Shokouhian, M., Solouki, S. p-Phenylenediamine-grafted multi-walled carbon nanotubes as a hydrophilic modifier in thin-film nanocomposite membrane. Polym. Bull. 77, 3485–3498 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00289-019-02899-5

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  • Thin-film nanocomposite membrane
  • Interfacial polymerization
  • Para-phenylenediamine-grafted multi-walled carbon nanotube
  • Desalination