Substrate-independent, regenerable anti-biofouling coating for polymeric membranes
journal contributionposted on 2021-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jane ZhangJane Zhang, Guang Wang, J Zhang, Zhiguang Xu, Y Zhao, Yichao WangYichao Wang, Fenghua SheFenghua She, S Gray, Lingxue KongLingxue Kong
Biofouling is a common but significant issue in the membrane process as it reduces permeate flux, increases energy costs, and shortens the life span of membranes. As an effective antibacterial agent, a small amount of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) immobilized on membrane surfaces will alleviate the membrane from biofouling. However, loading AgNPs on the membrane surface remains a challenge due to the low loading efficiency or the lack of bonding stability between AgNPs and the membrane surface. In this study, a substrate-independent method is reported to immobilize silver nanoparticles on polymeric membrane surfaces by firstly modifying the membrane surface with functional groups and then forming silver nanoparticles in situ. The obtained membranes had good anti-biofouling properties as demonstrated from disk diffusion and anti-biofouling tests. The silver nanoparticles were stably immobilized on the membrane surfaces and easily regenerated. This method is applicable to various polymeric micro-, ultra-, nano-filtration and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes.