Efficient PFOA removal from drinking water by a dual-functional mixed-matrix-composite nanofiltration membrane

Mohit Chaudhary, Michal Sela-Adler, Avner Ronen, Oded Nir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Drinking water contamination by per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) is a global concern. Nanofiltration is a promising PFAS removal technology due to its scalability and cost-effectiveness. However, nanofiltration cannot typically reduce PFAS concentrations below current drinking water recommendations. To enhance PFAS removal, we developed mixed-matrix-composite nanofiltration (MMCNF) membranes—an active nanofiltration layer on porous adsorptive support that synergetically combines filtration and adsorption. We synthesized MMCNF membranes comprising thin polyelectrolyte multilayer films deposited on thick (~400 µm) polyethersulfone supports incorporating β-cyclodextrin microparticles. These membranes achieved near complete removal (>99.9%) of model PFAS (PFOA: perfluorooctanoic acid) for significantly longer filtration times compared to a control membrane without β-cyclodextrin, but otherwise identical. The spent MMCNF membrane was regenerated using ethanol, and high PFOA removal performance was regained during three filtration cycles. Perfluorooctanoic acid was concentrated 38-fold in the ethanol eluent. Further concentration by evaporation is straightforward and can enable eluent recycling and effective PFAS removal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
Journalnpj Clean Water
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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