Antifouling Double-Skinned Forward Osmosis Membranes by Constructing Zwitterionic Brush-Decorated MWCNT Ultrathin Films

Xinyu Zhang, Ming Xie, Zhe Yang, Hao Chen Wu, Chuanjie Fang, Langming Bai, Li Feng Fang, Tomohisa Yoshioka, Hideto Matsuyama

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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Pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) process is hindered by severe fouling occurring within the porous support of the forward osmosis (FO) membranes. We designed a novel double-skinned FO membrane containing a polyamide salt-rejecting layer and a zwitterionic brush-decorated, multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT/PSBMA) foulant-resisting layer on the back side. Our results demonstrated that the coating of the MWCNT/PSBMA layer on the porous polyketone (PK) support imparted enhanced hydrophilicity and smaller membrane pore size, thereby providing excellent resistance toward both protein adhesion and bacterial adsorption. We also further evaluated this resultant double-skinned membrane (i.e., TFC-MWCNT/PSBMA) in dynamic PRO fouling experiments using protein and alginate as model organic foulants. Compared to the pristine TFC-PK and hydrophobic TFC-MWCNT membranes, the TFC-MWCNT/PSBMA membrane exhibited not only the lowest water flux decline but also the highest water flux recovery after simple physical flushing. These results shed light on fabrication of antifouling PRO membranes for water purification purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19462-19471
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number21
Early online date9 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2019


  • antifouling
  • double-skinned composite membrane
  • forward osmosis
  • zwitterionic brushes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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