Abstract

The study is concerned with the designing of a pressure-free filtration system that contains a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/chitosan (CS) polymeric membrane integrated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) for the purification of microbe-contaminated water. The AgNPs were greenly synthesized using culture filtrate of Bacillus endophyticus. PVA/CS membrane was prepared, integrated with washed and unwashed silver nanoparticles, and their proper integration was characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), particle size analyzer (PSA) and mechanical properties. The membrane was tested against six pathogenic microbes and showed potent antimicrobial activity especially against Klebsiella pneumoniae. A tap water sample was passed through the filtration system and tested for its microbial content before and after filtration. The obtained results showed that the optical densities of the tap water before the treatment and after the passage through the PVA/CS membrane were 1.397 and 1.214, respectively, with almost 88% of the original microbial content. The optical density of the tap water after passage through PVA/CS–washed AgNPs membrane was close to zero. The repeated observations resulting from the obtained optical densities of treated and untreated water refer to the future applicability of the prepared materials and the designed system for the safe purification of microbe-contaminated water for drinking, industrial or pharmaceutical purposes.

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