Mixed-Matrix Membranes Comprising of Polysulfone and Porous UiO-66, Zeolite 4A, and Their Combination: Preparation, Removal of Humic Acid, and Antifouling Properties
High-performance Mixed-Matrix Membranes (MMMs) comprising of two kinds of porous fillers UiO-66 and Zeolite 4Aand their combination were fabricated with polysulfone (PSf) polymer matrix. For the very first time, UiO-66 and Zeolite 4A were jointly used as nanofillers in MMMs with the objective of complimenting synergistic effects. The individual and complimentary effects of nanofillers were investigated on membrane morphology and performance, pure water flux, humic acid rejection, static humic
... ion, static humic acid adsorption, and antifouling properties of membranes. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis of membranes confirmed that all MMMs possessed wider macrovoids with higher nanofiller loadings than neat PSf membranes and the MMMs (PSf/UiO-66 and PSf/Zeolite 4A-UiO-66) showed tendency of agglomeration with high nanofiller loadings (1 wt% and 2 wt%). All MMMs exhibited better hydrophilicity and lower static humic acid adsorption than neat PSf membranes. Pure water flux of MMMs was higher than neat PSf membranes but the tradeoff between permeability and selectivity was witnessed in the MMMs with single nanofiller. However, MMMs with combined nanofillers (PSf/Zeolite 4A-UiO-66) showed no such tradeoff, and an increase in both permeability and selectivity was achieved. All MMMs with lower nanofiller loadings (0.5 wt% and 1 wt%) showed improved flux recovery. PSf/Zeolite 4A-UiO-66 (0.5 wt%) membranes showed the superior antifouling properties without sacrificing permeability and selectivity.