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Enhancement in Flux and Antifouling Properties of Polyvinylidene Fluoride/Polycarbonate Blend Membranes for Water Environmental Improvement

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journal contribution
posted on 13.11.2020, 10:46 by Xiao Song Yuan, Wei Liu, Wei Ya Zhu, Xun Xian Zhu
In this work, to overcome the fouling phenomenon of hydrophobic polymer membranes, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) was blended with hydrophilic polycarbonate (PC) to prepare ultrafiltration membranes via the nonsolvent-induced phase separation method. The effects of PC content on membrane morphology, pore size distribution, and surface porosity were characterized and investigated by FE-SEM and image analyzer software. Solubility parameters calculated by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation showed that PVDF and PC are compatible and the results were confirmed by differential scanning calorimetry and wide angle X-ray diffractometry. The long-term chemical stability against NaOH and mechanical property before and after the abrasion test of the prepared membranes were also characterized by dynamic thermomechanical analysis. It was found that the hydrophilicity, water flux, abrasion resistance, and antifouling properties as the performance criteria of polymeric membranes were improved because of the presence of PC, and the separation efficiency of PVDF/PC membranes is much higher than that of the pristine PVDF membrane. The exemplary water filtration performances of these polymer membranes are harnessed here in this work to purify raw water polluted by natural organic matters, addressing the key environmental issue of water contamination.