Hyperbranched Polymer Integrated Membrane for the Removal of Arsenic(III) in Water

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Doornfontein, 2028, South Africa.

2 Department of Chemistry, University of Swaziland, Private Bag 4, Kwaluseni, Swaziland.

3 P.O Box 17011, Doornfontein Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg


This work demonstrates the synthesis, characterization and application of a hyperbranched polyethyleneimine/polysulfone (HPEI/PSf) thin fi lm composite (TFC) membrane. The membrane was accessed via an interfacial polymerization of trimesoyl chloride and HPEI. The membrane samples were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared-Attenuated Total Refl ectance (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Contact angle and streaming potential measurements were used to measure the wettability and study the surface chemistry of the TFC membranes, respectively. Water fl ux and rejection studies were performed using a dead-end fi ltration cell system operated at 600 kPa. The binding affi nity of the fabricated membranes to abstract As(III) from synthetic and spiked tap water samples was assessed. FTIR-ATR spectra illustrated that a polyamide fi lm was successfully deposited onto the commercial PSf membrane. AFM analysis revealed that the surface roughness of the membranes increased from 13.9 nm to 140.0 nm upon HPEI loading. Contact angle measurements indicated an increase in the hydrophilicity from 86.95° for pristine PSf to 39.97° for the HPEI modifi ed membranes. Generally, the HPEI/PSf membranes showed a high water uptake (up to 96.6±0.76%) as compared to the pristine PSf membranes (up to 53.5±0.7%). The hyperbranched polymer integrated membranes exhibited high As(III) retention of 78% and 55% for synthetic water and spiked tap water samples, respectively.

Graphical Abstract

Hyperbranched Polymer Integrated Membrane for the Removal of Arsenic(III) in Water


Main Subjects

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Volume 4, Issue 2
April 2018
Pages 53-62
  • Receive Date: 18 July 2017
  • Revise Date: 14 September 2017
  • Accept Date: 25 September 2017
  • First Publish Date: 01 April 2018