Norepinephrine modified thin film composite membranes for forward osmosis

Malgorzata Chwatko, Jason T. Arena, Jeffrey R. McCutcheon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Surface modification has been demonstrated as a valuable method for improving hydrophilicity of surfaces. A number of approaches have been used for facile modification of support layer chemistry including the use of polydopamine. In this work, norepinephrine is used as an alternative monomer to dopamine for surface modification. The chemistry of norepinephrine allows for a wider array of coating conditions and tighter control of deposition. This study compares surface modification through the application of polydopamine and polynorepinephrine on thin film composite membrane support layers for use in forward osmosis. It was found that polynorepinephrine under ambient conditions performs equally well as a polydopamine modified membrane. Controlling the rate of polynorepinephrine formation by using ammonium persulfate, an oxidizing agent, provided an additional lever for tuning the modification process speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge funding from the NSF CBET Chemical and Biological Separations Program # 1160098 and # 1160069 , and USEPA (Project No. R834872 ). The authors also acknowledge the NWRI-AMTA Fellowship for Membrane Technology and National Science Foundation GK-12 Program, which provided support for Jason T. Arena. The authors further acknowledge the Stanley Works Endowed Engineering Scholarship, the Kevin Kulak Scholarship in Engineering, and the University of Connecticut Undergraduate Scholarship, which provided support for Malgorzata Chwatko. The authors additionally wish to thank Hydration Technology Innovations for providing the membranes used in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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