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Effect of mobile cation on zeolite-polyamide thin film nanocomposite membranes

  • Mary Laura Lind, Byeong-Heon Jeong (a1), Arun Subramani (a1), Xiaofei Huang and Eric M.V. Hoek (a1)...

Hybrid zeolite-polyamide thin film nanocomposite (TFN) reverse osmosis membranes were synthesized by incorporating Linde type A (LTA)-type zeolite molecular sieve nanocrystals in the interfacial polymerization reaction used to form polyamide thin films. Nanocrystals were prepared with two different mobile cations (Na+ and Ag+) exchanged within the LTA crystal matrix. Incorporation of molecular sieve nanocrystals into polyamide thin films during interfacial polymerization was verified by infrared spectroscopy. Both TFN membranes exhibited higher water permeability, while maintaining similar salt rejection to pure polyamide thin film composite membranes. Nanocomposite thin films containing LTA nanocrystals in the silver form (AgA) produced a greater increase in water permeability than those in the sodium form (NaA). Furthermore, AgA-TFN membranes exhibited more hydrophilic and smooth interfaces, which appeared to inhibit adhesion of bacteria cells onto the membranes. The AgA nanocrystals exhibited significant bactericidal activity; however, when encapsulated within polyamide thin films the antimicrobial activity was significantly reduced.

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Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
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