Nanocomposite desalination membranes made of aromatic polyamide with cellulose nanofibers: synthesis, performance, and water diffusion study

R Cruz-Silva and K Izu and J Maeda and S Saito and A Morelos-Gomez and C Aguilar and Y Takizawa and A Yamanaka and S Tejiima and K Fujisawa and K Takeuchi and T Hayashi and T Noguchi and A Isogai and M Endo, NANOSCALE, 12, 19628-19637 (2020).

DOI: 10.1039/d0nr02915g

Reverse osmosis membranes of aromatic polyamide (PA) reinforced with a crystalline cellulose nanofiber (CNF) were synthesized and their desalination performance was studied. Comparison with plain PA membranes shows that the addition of CNF reduced the matrix mobility resulting in a molecularly stiffer membrane because of the attractive forces between the surface of the CNFs and the PA matrix. Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results showed complex formation between the carboxy groups of the CNF surface and the m- phenylenediamine monomer in the CNF-PA composite. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that the CNF-PA had higher hydrophilicity which was key for the higher water permeability of the synthesized nanocomposite membrane. The CNF-PA reverse osmosis nanocomposite membranes also showed enhanced antifouling performance and improved chlorine resistance. Therefore, CNF shows great potential as a nanoreinforcing material towards the preparation of nanocomposite aromatic PA membranes with longer operation lifetime due to its antifouling and chlorine resistance properties.

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