Graphene is a single atomic plane of graphite, and it exhibits unique electronic, thermal, and mechanical properties. Exfoliated graphene oxide (GO) contains various hydrophilic functional groups, such as hydroxyl, epoxide, and carboxyl groups, that can modify the hydrophobic characteristics of a membrane surface. Though reduced graphene oxide (rGO) has fewer functional groups than GO, its associated sp2 structures and physical properties can be recovered. A considerable amount of research has focused on the use of GO to obtain a pristine graphene material via reduction processes. In this study, polysulfone (PSf) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes that were blended with GO and rGO, respectively, were fabricated by using the immersion phase inversion method and an n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) solvent. Results showed that the graphene nanomaterials, GO and rGO, can change the pore morphology (size and structure) of both PSf and PVDF membranes. The optimum content of both was then investigated, and the highest flux enhancement was observed with the 0.10 wt% GO-blended PSf membrane. The presence of functional groups in GO within prepared PSf and PVDF membranes alters the membrane characteristics to hydrophilic. An antifouling test and rejection efficiency evaluation also showed that the 0.10 wt% membrane provided the best performance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (Ministry of Science and ICT, MSIT) (No. 2019R1G1A1100560).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Computer Science Applications
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes