Document Type : Research Paper
School of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
School of Science and Computer Studies, Food Technology Department, The Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State 360231, Nigeria
Gold, Rare Earth and Material Technopreneurship Centre (GREAT), Faculty of Bioengineering and Technology Universiti Malaysia Kelantan. Jeli Campus, 17600, Jeli, Kelantan, Malaysia
Advanced tertiary treatments (ATTs) have been embraced as alternative technologies to prevent the harmful health influence of pharmaceutical contaminants such as 2-(4-Isobutylphenyl) propanoic acid (Ibuprofen, Ibup.) in living beings. However, some significant drawbacks of these techniques necessitated a compelling desire to investigate alternative techniques to remediate emerging pharmaceutical compounds from water. Hence, Polymer inclusion membranes (PIMs) are currently being investigated as potentially efficient, reliable, and affordable alternative treatments. A self-plasticised PIMs containing tri-caprylmethylammonium chloride (Aliquat 336) embedded as the carrier and PVC base polymer was synthesized to remediate low Ibuprofen concentration. In a preliminary investigation, fabricated PIMs were examined by Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), SEM, water uptake, contact angle (CA), chemical and physical stabilities. In addition, the PIMs were evaluated for the removal efficiency of low Ibuprofen concentration in an aqueous solution. The results showed that the self-plasticised thin-PIM could effectively extract low concentration Ibuprofen from a simulated aqueous Ibuprofen model up to ~ 90% at optimum conditions. However, a drop in removal efficiency to ~ 67% after prolonged usage stability based on continuous extraction studies (over 280 h) of three cycles indicates the limited stability of the PIM.