Physical Studies of Forward Osmosis Membranes Prepared by Cross-linking Polyvinyl Alcohol on Electrospun Nanofibers

Document Type : SI: Honoring AF


Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia


The conventional nanofiber-supported forward osmosis (FO) membrane possessed some issues, for example, easy deformation and weak interfacial strength between the substrate and selective layer. A dual-layered composite membrane consists of electrospun nanofibrous membranes (ENMs) as the support layer and cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) top coating as the active layer is fabricated. Hence, the objective of this work is to study the physical properties of the prepared PVA/ polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) composite membranes. The novelty of this work relies on the new exploitation of the prepared dual-layered thin film nanofibrous composite (TFNC) membranes via the cross-linked technique in the FO process. The experiment works include the fabrication of nanofibrous substrates and selective layer via electrospinning, followed by the PVA cross-linking process prior to the characterisation studies and FO evaluation. FO performance test revealed a comparable water flux with the conventional dual-layered composite membrane, besides exhibited a significantly low Js /Jw ratio. This study indicated that dual-layered cross-linked PVA on electrospun PVDF nanofibers is a promising approach to overcome the drawback of the existing issues in the conventional method of preparing surface coated composite membranes which is a viable option to manufacture high-performance TFNC-FO membranes.


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