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Development of AgCl-TiO2 xerogels entrapped antibacterial polyacrylonitrile membranes: The effect of high salinity water on silver release, antibiofouling and antibacterial efficacies
Silver-containing antibacterial membranes are commonly used to control biofouling during bacteria filtration. Unfortunately, fast and uncontrolled release of silver to water is a challenge since this causes mass accumulation of silver in water resources and insufficient long-term antimicrobial effect. To overcome these disadvantages, we propose to add AgCl-TiO2 xerogels (0–0.8 wt%) in the polyacrylonitrile membranes. The long-term silver retaining of the membranes was evaluated by measuring the silver release under filtration of deionized water in the absence and the presence of 1 M NaCl up to 5 days. The antibiofouling and the antibacterial efficacies were determined by measuring the changes in antibacterial activity and DI water flux of the membranes at the end of 5 days of E. coli filtration. The 0.2 wt% AgCl-TiO2 xerogel incorporated polyacrylonitrile membrane demonstrated a constant ~1 ?g of silver release/cm2 per filtration cycle after a total filtration of 0.05 L/cm2 with 1 M NaCl solution. Additionally, it showed antibacterial efficacy and ~100% recovery of deionized water flux by simple backwashing with water after having been used in many E. coli filtration cycles. Thus, this membrane could potentially be used up to ~5.8 years for 8000 h a year for the filtration of high salinity water. Statement of novelty: Silver-containing antibacterial membranes are commonly used to control biofouling during bacteria filtration. Uncontrolled release of silver from the membrane causes massive silver accumulation in water which in turn leads to contamination of water resources and threat to aquatic organisms. Although silver release is strongly influenced by the salinity of water, the release data was collected through filtration of pure DI water or tap water in literature. To overcome the shortcomings of the published studies, we propose to use AgCl-TiO2 xerogels in membranes due to low solubility of AgCl in water and measure the release by filtering high-salinity water. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.