Functionalization of Flat Sheet and Hollow Fiber Microfiltration Membranes for Water Applications

Sebastián Hernández, Shi Lei, Wang Rong, Lindell Ormsbee, Dibakar Bhattacharyya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Functionalized membranes containing nanoparticles provide a novel platform for organic pollutant degradation reactions and for selective removal of contaminants without the drawback of potential nanoparticle loss to the environment. These eco-friendly and sustainable technology approaches allow various water treatment applications by enhanced water transport through the membrane pores. This paper presents "green" techniques to create nanocomposite materials based on sponge-like membranes for water remediation applications involving chlorinated organic compounds. First, hydrophobic hollow fiber microfiltration membranes (HF) of polyvinylidene fluoride were hydrophilized using a water-based green chemistry process with polyvinylpyrrolidone and persulfate. HF and flat sheet membrane pores were then functionalized with poly(acrylic acid) and synthesized Fe/Pd nanoparticles. Surface modifications were determined by contact angle, surface free energy and infrared spectroscopy. The synthesized nanoparticles were characterized by electronic microscopy, X-ray spectrometry and image analysis. Nanoparticle mean sizes obtained were 203 ± 10 and 300 ± 11 nm for each of the membranes. Depending on the concentration of the dopant (Pd) in the membrane, catalytic activity (established by trichloroethylene (TCE) reduction), was enhanced up to 10-fold compared to other reported results. Chloride produced in reduction was close to the stoichiometric 3/1 (Cl-/TCE), indicating complete absence of reaction intermediates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-918
Number of pages12
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 7 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • Nanoparticles
  • Sponge-like membranes
  • Surface modification
  • TCE dechlorination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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