Gravity-driven electrospun membranes for effective removal of perfluoro-organics from synthetic groundwater

Hongyi Wan, Rollie Mills, Yixing Wang, Keyu Wang, Sunjie Xu, Dibakar Bhattacharyya, Zhi Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are emerging contaminants in water and soil. Electrospun membranes with open structure could treat PFAS in a gravity-driven mode with ultralow pressure needs. The electrospun ultrathin fibers (67 ± 27 nm) was prepared for the enhanced specific surface area; where polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) backbones and the grafted quaternary ammonium moieties (QA; PVDF-g-QA membranes) provided both hydrophobicity and anion-exchange ability (electrostatic interaction). High affinity towards the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)/perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) molecules (denoted as PFOX collectively) was observed, and >95% PFOX was removed from synthetic groundwater with a flux of 32.3 Lm−2h−1 at ΔPo = 313 Pa. With a higher octanol/water partitioning coefficient (Log Kow = 6.3) and close dispersion interaction parameter to the membrane backbones (16.6% difference in δd), the effective PFOS removal remained under alkaline and high conductivity conditions due to the intensive hydrophobic interaction compared to that of PFOA. Long-term studies exhibited >90% PFOX removal in an 8 h test with a capacity of 258 L/m2. Under mild regeneration conditions, PFOA and PFOS were concentrated by 35-fold and 39-fold, respectively. Overall, the gravity-driven electrospun PVDF-g-QA membranes, with adsorptive effectiveness and ease of regeneration, showed great potential in PFAS remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120180
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume644
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation [ 2020M681204 ]; the National Natural Science Foundation of China [ 21908054 & 22075076 ]; and NIEHS-SRP grant [ P42ES007380 ]. We highly appreciate the collaborations with the University of Kentucky NIEHS Superfund center.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation [2020M681204]; the National Natural Science Foundation of China [21908054 & 22075076]; and NIEHS-SRP grant [P42ES007380]. We highly appreciate the collaborations with the University of Kentucky NIEHS Superfund center.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Co-existing competitors
  • Electrospun membranes
  • PFAS Removal
  • Removal mechanism
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Gravity-driven electrospun membranes for effective removal of perfluoro-organics from synthetic groundwater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this