Long-Term Stable Metal Organic Framework (MOF) Based Mixed Matrix Membranes for Ultrafiltration
In this study, novel mixed matrix polyethersulfone (PES) membranes were synthesized by using two different kinds of metal organic frameworks (MOFs), namely UiO-66 and UiO-66-NH2. The composite membranes were characterised by SEM, EDX, FTIR, PXRD, water contact angle, porosity, pore size, etc. Membrane performance was investigated by water permeation flux, flux recovery ratio, fouling resistance and anti-fouling performance. The stability test was also conducted for the prepared mixed matrix membranes. A higher reduction in the water contact angle was observed after adding both MOFs to the PES and sulfonated PES membranes compared to pristine PES membranes. An enhancement in membrane performance was observed by embedding the MOF into PES membrane matrix, which may be attributed to the super-hydrophilic porous structure of UiO-66-NH2 nanoparticles and hydrophilic structure of UiO-66 nanoparticles that could accelerate the exchange rate between solvent and non-solvent during the phase inversion process. By adding the MOFs into PES matrix, the flux recovery ratio was increased greatly (more than 99% for most mixed matrix membranes). The mixed matrix membranes showed higher resistance to protein adsorption compared to pristine PES membranes. After immersing the membranes in water for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months, both MOFs were stable and retained their structure. This study indicates that UiO-66 and UiO-66-NH2 are great candidates for designing long-term stable mixed matrix membranes with higher anti-fouling performance.