Polyethersulfone/Graphene Oxide Ultrafiltration Membranes from Solutions in Ionic Liquid
Dinesh K Mahalingam, DooLi Kim, Suzana P Nunes
MRS Advances, 2, 2505-2511 (2017)
Novel high flux polyethersulfone (PES) ultrafiltration membranes were fabricated by incorporating different amounts of graphene oxide (GO) sheets to PES as nanofillers. The membranes were prepared from solutions in 50/50 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium-diethylphosphate/N,N-dimethyl formamide. It was observed that the water permeance increased from 550 to 800 L m-2h-1bar-1, with incorporation of 1 wt% GO, keeping a molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) of approximately 32-34 kg mol-1. Cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy images of GO/PES membranes showed the formation of ultrathin selective layer unlike pristine membranes. Contact angle measurements confirmed the increase of hydrophilicity, by increasing the GO concentration. The rejection of humic acid and bovine serum albumin was demonstrated. The mechanical properties were improved, compared with the pristine membranes. The performance was just above the trade-off relationship between permeance and separation factor for PES membranes reported in the literature.