Flux-enhanced PVDF mixed matrix membranes incorporating APTS-functionalized graphene oxide for membrane distillation

Sebastian Leaper, Ahmed Ahmed Abdelkarim, Bilal Faki, Jose Miguel Luque-Alled, Monica Alberto, Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Stuart Holmes, Gyorgy Szekely, Mohamed I. Badawy, Nima Shokri, Patricia Gorgojo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Air gap membrane distillation (AGMD) is an emerging desalination technology with the potential to meet the challenge of global water scarcity due to its low cost and high thermal efficiency compared to other processes. However, despite the potential of AGMD, a lack of appropriate membranes limits its commercial application. Therefore, this study was focussed on the fabrication of high flux, robust membranes for the purification of artificial sea water by incorporating graphene oxide functionalized with 3-(aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTS) into PVDF polymer solutions. Successful functionalisation of GO with APTS was confirmed with XPS and FTIR. It was shown that the addition of GO and GO-APTS enhanced the permeate flux by 52 and 86%, respectively, compared to pure PVDF. The best performing membrane contained 0.3 wt% GO-APTS (with respect to PVDF) and had a flux of 6.2 LMH (L m-2 h-1) whilst maintaining perfect salt rejection (>99.9%). These improvements were attributed to increased surface and bulk porosity, larger mean pore size and hydrophilic interactions owing to the functional groups of GO and GO-APTS. These membranes are evidence of the potential that GO and related materials have as nanocomposite fillers in high performance desalination membranes.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Membrane Science
    Early online date9 Mar 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • National Graphene Institute


    Dive into the research topics of 'Flux-enhanced PVDF mixed matrix membranes incorporating APTS-functionalized graphene oxide for membrane distillation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this