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Abrasion-Resistant PVDF/Nanoclay Hollow Fiber Composite Membranes for Water Treatment Discovered

Creation Date Friday, 28 February 2014.

A team of sustainability and innovation specialists recently published a research study entitled “The Journal of Membrane Science” that discussed in detail the potential of abrasion-resistant polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or nanoclay hollow fibers composite membranes containing commercial nanoparticles to be used in various water treatment applications.

The research study highlights four integral advantages of using these nanoclay hollow fiber membranes, including the physical endurance of PVDF cast by non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) compared with membranes without nanoclay under accelerated abrasion; the improvement of membrane structure and mechanical strength with reduced water flux; promotion of PVDF beta-phase formation; and boost in resistance by thrice under accelerated abrasion.

Diverse industries worldwide have been utilizing microfiltration and ultrafiltration systems in pre-treating seawater and so far, these two have proved to be technologically and economically viable compared to traditional granular media filtration. However, these current membranes have been found to have shorter lifespans and deteriorate permanently over time, especially in the presence of abrasive particles in seawater.

The research team has also reported that there is loss on ignition testing that then indicated that high nanoclay retention was obtained even at low level of initial nanoclay loading. It is also discovered that integrating nanoclay transformed the PVDF crystalline phase from alpha to beta even said nanoclay showed lower pure water permeability. The membrane structure, as well as its mechanical properties in terms of robustness and flexibility, was also enhanced.

The study also theorized the abrasion properties of these composite membranes. Upon completing an accelerated abrasion test, the membrane with an initial 5.08% loading of Nanomer I.44P had shown to develop abrasion resistance and lasted three times longer than the control membrane without added nanoclay.

Aqua Solutions recognizes the impact of nanotechnology and membrane-based water treatment advancements in the industry, and offers a vast range of high-efficiency, laboratory water purification systems that generate reagent grade, ultrapure water for critical applications. Browse through our inventory of ASTM, CAP, and CLSI-certified lab water systems at www.aquaa.com.

About the Author

Nicholas Papp

Nicholas Papp

Nicholas Papp has a B.S. in Physics, with Minors in Chemistry and Math, from Baldwin-Wallace College. He is the Vice President and General Manager of AQUA SOLUTIONS, INC., and has worked in the water filtration/purification industry for more than 35 years.