Phase Inversion and Performance Evaluation of a Silica incorporated PVDF Membrane for Water Based Filtration

C.S. Fernandes, N.A.H.M. Nordin*, M.R.Bilad

ABSTRACT

Objective - Membrane technology has long been applied in the wastewater industry due to its numerous advantages. However the chemistry behind the formation of a membrane via phase inversion still has to be explored upon. In this study, a novel PVDF-DMF membrane is developed with silica nanoparticles (surface modified with dimethyldichlorosilane) as additives. This paper focuses on the polymerisation reaction that occurs in the membrane by studying the change in the viscosity of the dope solution, the reaction of additive during the phase inversion process and its effect on the structural properties of the membrane. An increase in the viscosity of the dope with addition of water proves polymerization reaction of dimethyldichlorosilane mechanism of silica to form polydimethylsilohexanediol, as also supported by FTIR results. SEM images prove the increase in the number of pores on the membranes with a higher silica loadings and demonstrate its effect in lowering the surface pore size. Filterability tests show a much higher purity water performance, in which, notably the 3% silica loading increased the performance by 4 times more than the pristine membrane. Overall, it can be concluded silica plays a huge role in the phase inverter by enhancing the viscosity of the dope to produce a more porous and highly permeable membrane which is expected to be more resistant to fouling.

Type of Paper: Conceptual.

Keywords: Phase Inversion; PVDF Membrane; Silica; Polydimethylsilohexanediol (PDMS); Additives; Filterability.

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