A composite nanofiltration membrane was developed by a poly(acrylic acid) in situ ultraviolet (UV) graft polymerization process using an ultrafiltration polysulfone membrane as a porous support, by a phase inversion method. SEM images showed that the PSf membranes had numerous finger-like pores. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed that the roughness of the surface was reduced by an increase in UV irradiation times. The rejections of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate were moderate and declined with the increase of concentration. We observed that by increasing UV irradiation time and nanofiltration pressure applied, retention of dyes was enhanced and in the most irradiated membrane (M-4 membrane) at 4 bars, color removal with a high rejection of about 99.80% was achieved. It was found that the separation efficiency of dyes in the mixture of salt and dyes decreased with the salt concentration due to a decrease in the Donnan effect. It was also found that by varying the pH, the membrane surface and the dyes' charges are changed, which meant that the membrane surface and dyes had different interactions at various pHs.

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