Surface coating of polyamide reverse osmosis membranes with zwitterionic 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-l-alanine (l-DOPA) for forward osmosis
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To overcome low permeability and fouling problems of membranes used in FO processes, modification is needed to improve the hydrophilicity, permeability and selectivity of membranes. In this work, thin film composite (TFC) commercial polyamide RO membranes (BW30-LE, SW30-HR, AG and AC) were functionalized with zwitterionicl-DOPA. The effect ofl-DOPA on the morphology of membranes was determined via SEM, FT-IR, AFM and contact angle analysis. Thel-DOPA modified BW30-LE membrane showed excellent properties with 46 degrees contact angle and 3.8 L/m(2)hbar water permeability and 0.83 L/m(2)h salt permeability. Although,l-DOPA modified BW30-LE membrane had the highest water flux and hydrophilicity,l-DOPA modified SW30-HR membrane showed higher FO flux with 9.38 L/m(2)h than BW 30 membrane with 3.5 L/m(2)h at 50 g/L NaCl draw solution. Introducing hydroxyl and carboxyl ionic groups on the membrane surface withl-DOPA coating enhanced the FO performance and water permeability which provide a new insight in FO applications.