Incorporation of lanthanum particles to polyethersulfone ultrafiltration membrane for specific phosphorus uptake: Method comparison and performance assessment

Kok Yuen Koh, Sui Zhang*, J. Paul Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is known that phosphorus is a major contributor to the occurrence of eutrophication. As such, it is of importance to remove it from water. Nanofiltration (NF) has low phosphorus selectivity and requires a relatively high pressure to achieve the separation, though it is capable of removing phosphorus. In this paper, we report our findings of method development on fabrication and application of a lanthanum (La)-incorporated polyethersulfone (PES)/sulfonated polyphenylenesulfone membrane for phosphorus treatment. The performances of membranes fabricated by the in situ and ex situ methods were examined in a series of batch adsorption and dead-end filtration experiments. The membrane fabricated by the in situ method demonstrated higher adsorption capacity (48.0 mg/g), faster kinetics (equilibrium in 6 h) and higher water permeance (>100 LMH/bar), which outperformed that by the ex situ method. Furthermore, the PES/La (in situ) membrane showed a comparable phosphate removal with a much higher permeance (about 20 times) than the NF90 (a nanofiltration commercial membrane). Moreover, the multiple cycles of filtration study showed that the membrane was reused satisfactorily in treating low-phosphate contaminated water and meeting the stringent phosphate standard limit of 0.15 mg/L. The removal of phosphate by the membranes was attributed to the mechanisms of ion exchange and electrostatic attraction/complexation. The study reported here provides a better approach in fabrication of functionalized membrane for water treatment, such as phosphate removal in either batch adsorption or membrane filtration process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-253
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume601
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Batch adsorption
  • La-incorporated membrane
  • Membrane filtration

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