Abstract

In this work, polysulfone (PSF)-based ultrafiltration (UF) membrane with antibacterial and antifouling properties was prepared by the phase inversion technique. ZnO and eugenol were used as additives and introduced into the membrane matrix via the additive blending method. The additives could improve the performance of the PSF membrane due to their hydrophilic nature. The water contact angle (WCA) of the PSF membrane decreased from 67.7° ± 1.2° to 52.8° ± 0.8° when the additive loading was increased from 0 to 5%-wt. The PSF membrane with 5%-wt ZnO and 5%-wt eugenol had pure water permeability and humic substance rejection of 83.8 ± 3.7 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 and 95.6%, respectively. In addition, the additives were able to improve antifouling properties, e.g. a recovery ratio (FRR) of 85.4% and relative flux reduction ratio (RFR) of 30.2%. In the antibacterial assay, the membrane displayed 3 mm and 10 mm inhibition zones against Escherichia coli and peat water microorganisms, respectively, probably due to antibacterial properties of the additives.

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