Characterization of commercial water treatment membranes modified via ion beam irradiation

Rama Chennamsetty, Isabel Escobar, Xinglong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A commercial sulfonated polysulfone water treatment membrane was modified by ion beam irradiation. After irradiation, attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) was used to identify chemical structure changes incurred by the modification. Some of the sulphonic groups on the surface of the membrane were broken due to ion beam irradiation, which resulted in crosslinking of the polymer. These changes modified the surface morphology of the membrane and also decreased the negative charge of the membrane. Previous studies have determined that ion beam irradiation produces no significant changes in membrane permeability along with improvements in selectivity with respect of organic carbon rejection. Thus, this study focused on conducting bench-scale cross-flow filtration experiments to investigate the cake accumulation on the modified membrane. Through ATR-FTIR and atomic force miscroscopy, it was concluded that fouling of the modified membrane was significantly less severe than that of the virgin membrane. Thus, ion beam irradiation was observed to be an effective membrane modification technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-212
Number of pages10
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Feb 5 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the National Science Foundation grant CTS 03-31778. The authors acknowledge Dr. Peter Simpson (University of Western Ontario) where irradiation was performed and Dr. Mark Wilk for providing membrane samples.


  • Ion beam irradiation
  • Membrane
  • Surface modifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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