Zwitterionic hydrogel modified reduced graphene oxide/ZnO nanocomposite blended membrane with high antifouling and antibiofouling performances

Wei Zhang, Hao Huang, Roy Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Membrane fouling and biofouling are major challenges in the application of membrane technology for wastewater treatment. The synthesis of antifouling and antibiofouling dual functionality membranes is a promising approach to tackling these problems. In this work, we fabricated a high-efficiency dual functionality polyethersulfone (PES) ultrafiltration membrane by blending an antibacterial reduced graphene oxide-ZnO nanocomposite into a PES matrix (rGO/ZnO–PES) followed by surface grafting of a low-fouling polyampholyte hydrogel (rGO/ZnO–z–PES). The antibacterial activity of the blended membrane was optimized by changing the nanocomposite fraction in the PES dope solution. Surface characterizations (SEM-EDS, XPS, ATR-FTIR, contact angle, and Zeta potential) confirmed the successful grafting of the zwitterionic hydrogel on the rGO/ZnO–PES membrane surface. Contact killing assays revealed that the polyampholyte hydrogel grafting did not affect the high antibacterial activity of the rGO/ZnO–PES membrane. Dynamic filtration experiments demonstrated the very high antifouling and antibiofouling of the rGO/ZnO–z–PES membrane, and significantly higher than those of the rGO/ZnO-PES and pristine PES membranes. The measured concentration of zinc ions in the permeate was low. Overall, our results demonstrate that the rGO/ZnO–z–PES membrane has excellent antifouling and antibiofouling performance and is stable and safe, and therefore very promising for wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-434
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume613
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

Keywords

  • Antifouling
  • Biofouling
  • Dual functionality membrane
  • Nanocomposite
  • Zwitterion hydrogel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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