Thin-film composite hollow fiber membranes incorporated with graphene oxide in polyethersulfone support layers for enhanced osmotic power density
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2019 Elsevier B.V. This study focused on the development of pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) thin film composite (TFC) membranes for enhanced osmotic power using hollow fiber polyethersulfone (PES) support structure modified by incorporating hydrophilic graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets. The GO loadings in the hollow fiber substrates were varied to improve water flux performances without compromising the mechanical strength. GO embedded (0.2 wt%) PES hollow fiber supports revealed noticeable improvements in pure water permeability, improved structural morphologies, as well as the hydrophilicity within the support layer, without deteriorating the mechanical properties. The GO (0.2 wt%)-incorporated TFC-PRO membrane appeared to have an initial PRO flux (without any applied pressure) of 43.74 L m2 h1, lower specific reverse salt flux of 0.04 g L1 and structural parameter (S) of 522 m, significantly better than the control membrane. The maximum power density of 14.6 W m2 was achieved at an operating pressure of 16.5 bar under the condition of DI water and 1 M NaCl as feed and draw solutions, respectively. The results obtained in this study indicate that modification of PRO hollow fiber support layer by incorporating nanoparticles such as GO nanosheet can be a useful tool to improve the PRO performance.