Enhancing Polysulfone Mixed-Matrix Membranes with Amine-Functionalized Graphene Oxide for Air Dehumidification and Water Treatment. Academic Article uri icon


  • Porous low-pressure membranes have been used as active membranes in water treatment and as support for thin-film composite membranes used in water desalination and gas separation applications. In this article, microfiltration polysulfone (PSf)mixed-matrix membranes (MMM) containing amine-functionalized graphene oxide (GO-NH2) were fabricated via a phase inversion process and characterized using XPS, SEM, AFM, DMA, XRD, and contact angle measurements. The effect of GO-NH2 concentration on membrane morphology, hydrophilicity, mechanical properties, and oil-water separation performance was analyzed. Significant enhancements in membrane hydrophilicity, porosity, mechanical properties, permeability, and selectivity were achieved at very low GO-NH2 concentrations (0.05-0.2 wt.%). In particular, the water permeability of the membrane containing 0.2 wt.% GO-NH2 was 92% higher than the pure PSf membrane, and the oil rejection reached 95.6% compared to 91.7% for the pure PSf membrane. The membrane stiffness was also increased by 98% compared to the pure PSf membrane. Importantly, the antifouling characteristics of the PSf-GO-NH2 MMMs were significantly improved. When filtering 100 ppm bovine serum albumin (BSA) solution, the PSf-GO-NH2 MMMs demonstrated a slower flux decline and an impressive flux recovery after washing. Notably, the control membrane showed a flux recovery of only 69%, while the membrane with 0.2 wt.% GO-NH2 demonstrated an exceptional flux recovery of 88%. Furthermore, the membranes exhibited enhanced humidity removal performance, with a permeance increase from 13,710 to 16,408. These results indicate that the PSf-GO-NH2 MMM is an excellent candidate for reliable oil-water separation and humidity control applications, with notable improvements in antifouling performance.

published proceedings

  • Membranes (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Abdalla, O., Rehman, A., Nabeeh, A., Wahab, M. A., Abdel-Wahab, A., & Abdala, A.

publication date

  • July 2023