Fabrication of high flux membranes by tailoring properties of polysulfone for its chemical integration to polyamide active layer.

Project: Research

Project Details


Reducing the cost of water is a key parameter outlined by the Research Development and Innovation Authority KSA. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals has further categorized RDIA Grand Challenges. IRC Membranes and Water Security is a champion centre to lead the research for desalination. One of the important approaches to reducing the clean water cost is to fabricate/innovate high flux membranes. Traditionally, RO/NF membranes are three layered referring to PET/Psf/PA (PET: polyether terephthalate, Psf: Polysulfone, PA: polyamide). These layers are subsequently formed by different techniques. The polysulfone is cast on PET using wet/dry/combined phase inversion methodology. Similarly, the ultrathin polyamide layered is created by interfacial polymerization of the diamine aqueous solution versus crosslinker organic solution. All these three layers have no chemical bonding associated with them. In addition, the varied hydrophilicity of each layer allows no close interaction among them. Due to the stated facts, when such membranes are exposed to high pressure a phenomenon of compaction takes place, and that affects the flux and rejection performance of the membrane. This project is proposing the manipulation of polysulfone. The polysulfone will be first dissolved and reacted to paraformaldehyde and chloromethyl silane in the presence of tin chloride. This converts and creates a chloromethylated polysulfone. This will be further reacted to the innovative diamine solution to create aminated polysulfone. Such polysulfone will be first purified and crystallized. The pure aminated polysulfone with innovative/ desired amine groups will be further dissolved and cast on PET. Such a support layer will take part in the polyamide formation of the active layer. A chemical linkage between polyamide and polysulfone layer will keep both bonded at a distance and reduce or eliminate the chances of compaction. Moreover, it is expected to increase the hydrophilicity and flux of clean water without compromising the rejection of salts or organic pollutants.
Effective start/end date14/02/2431/12/24


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