Document Type: Research Paper
School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
The surface properties of TiO2-PVDF nanocomposite membranes were investigated by incorporating different chemically modified TiO2 nanoparticles into the poly (vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) matrix. The nanocomposite membranes were prepared via dual coagulation bath diffusion and the induced phase inversion method. The membrane surface morphologies were investigated by using SEM and AFM and related to the membrane surface energy via contact angle goniometry. The results showed that the average membrane surface pore sizes were increased with the addition of TiO2 nanoparticles. Nonetheless, the contact angle measurements demonstrated that the hydrophobicity of nanocomposite membranes can be maintained even with the addition of hydrophilic TiO2. This observation could be rationalized as surface roughness enhancement. The experimental results demonstrated that the initial flux of acid treated TiO2 has both higher initial flux and high COD removal due to their induced surface roughness. The TiO2-PVDF membranes were found to possess the significant bactericidal effect on B. Subtilis compared to the neat membrane even without the presence of UV light.