Abstract

The hydrophilic and antimicrobial polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane was fabricated by phase inversion method. The prepared membranes with various concentrations of ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and membrane properties were investigated in terms of hydrophilicity, water flux, BSA solution filtration experiments, etc. Antibacterial testing was also performed to examine the practicability of the PVDF-ZnO membranes in overcoming biofouling. The results of FTIR and XRD confirmed the presence of ZnO NPs in the polymer matrix. The membrane performance demonstrated the significance of hydrophilic nanoparticles towards the enhancement of membrane properties. The optimum amount of ZnO NPs was 1.5 wt% with a lower contact angle as well as highest flux and lowest filtration resistance. The presence of ZnO NPs in the membrane matrix exhibited a strong antibacterial activity increased with the increasing ZnO NPs' content. Incorporation of ZnO NPs into PVDF membranes may have great potential in developing high-performance antifouling membranes for separation process.

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