Omniphobic re-entrant PVDF membrane with ZnO nanoparticles composite for desalination of low surface tension oily seawater

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Article number114982
Journal / PublicationWater Research
Online published13 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019


In this study, an omniphobic membrane was fabricated by electrospraying fluorinated zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) mixed with polyvinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene (PVDF-HFP) on the surface of an organosilane functionalized polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membrane. Our results revealed that the functionalized ZnO NPs membrane exhibited a rough hierarchical re-entrant morphology with low surface energy which allowed it to achieve high omniphobic characteristics. It was observed that the addition of 30% ZnO (w/w of PVDF-HFP) was found to be optimal and imparted a high repulsive characteristic. The optimized PVDF/ZnO(30)/FAS/PVDF-HFP referred as cPFP-30Z membrane exhibited a high contact angle values of 159.0 ± 3.1°, 129.6 ± 2.2°, 130.4 ± 4.1° and 126.1 ± 1.2° for water, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) saline solution (0.3 mM SDS in 3.5% NaCl), ethanol, and vegetable oil, respectively. The low surface energy and high surface roughness (Ra) of optimised membrane was assessed as 0.78 ± 0.14 mN m−1 and 1.37 μm, respectively. Additionally, in contrast with the commercial PVDF membrane, the cPFP-30Z membrane exhibited superior anti-wetting/anti-fouling characteristics and high salt rejection performance (>99%) when operated with a saline oil solution (0.015 v/v) and SDS (0.4 mM) feed solutions.

Research Area(s)

  • Anti-wetting, Low surface tension oily seawater desalination, Membrane distillation, Omniphobic membrane, Re-entrant structure, Zinc oxide nanoparticle