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Development of high flux nanofiltration membranes through single bilayer polyethyleneimine/alginate deposition
The aim of this study is to prepare high flux, stable, antifouling nanofiltration membranes through single bilayer polyelectrolyte deposition. To this end, a tight ultrafiltration support membrane was prepared from a polysulfone/sulfonated polyethersulfone blend. Deposition of a polyethyleneimine and alginate pair on this support has reduced the molecular weight cut off from 6 kDa to below 1 kDa. The pure water permeability and polyethylene glycol 1000 rejection of the coated membrane were found to be 15.5 +/- 0.3 L/m(2).h.bar and 90 +/- 0.6%, respectively, by setting the deposition pH for each layer to 8 and the ionic strengths to 0.5 M and 0 M. This membrane has exhibited significantly higher permeability than commercial membranes with the same molecular weight cut off, retaining 98% of the initial flux during 15 h filtration of bovine serum albumine. In addition, the membrane has been able to completely remove anionic dyes from aqueous solution by showing 99.9% retentions to Reactive red 141, Brilliant blue G and Congo red with a 2 bar transmembrane pressure. High flux and membrane stability in acidic and salty environments have been achieved when deposition conditions favor high adsorption levels for the first layer and strong ionic cross-linking between the carboxyl group on the alginate and the amine groups on the polyethyleneimine. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.