Development of Ultrafiltration Membrane of Polyvinylidine Fluoride Polymer Composite with Copper (II) Oxide Nanoparticles (PVDF/CuO) Fabrication for Municipal Wastewater Treatment

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD. Student, Dept. of Water, Wastewater and Environmental, Faculty of Civil, Water and Environmental Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assist. prof., Dept. of Water, Wastewater and Environmental, Faculty of Civil, Water and Environmental Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 Researcher, Water and Wastewater Research Center (WWRC), Water Research Institute (WRI), Shahid Abbaspour Blvd., Tehran, Iran


The biological fouling in polymer membranes is one of the main challenges in the membrane processes. Accordingly, CuO nanomaterials with properties such as high resistance to physical, chemical, biological agents, as well as antibacterial properties can be considered as one of the effective additives in the fabrication of composite ultrafiltration membranes, and reduce biological fouling. In this study, PVDF (16wt %), PVP (1wt %), CuO nano-plates (1wt %) were used in fabrication membranes (Phase inversion method) to increase hydrophilic properties, to reduce the membrane fouling and improve the ultrafiltration membrane filteration performance. The physical and chemical characterization of CuO nano-plates (synthesized by hydrothermal method) and fabricated membranes evaluated by XRD and FTIR analysis and also FESEM and TEM were used to study the morphology of the samples. The mixture of CuO nanoparticles with the semi-crystalline polymer structure of PVDF improved the β phase in the membrane structure which improved the hydrophilic properties of the membrane feature. The results showed that the flux and rejection of CuO nanocomposite membranes were 357 and 96% LMH, respectively, and the contact angle was about 59 degrees, which increased the hydrophilic properties of the surface by 25% compared to the control sample. The recovery rate of CuO nanocomposite membrane was about 83%, which indicates the effect of antibacterial properties of these nano-plates. Finally, BSA solution and municipal wastewater were used to evaluate the performance of nanocomposite membrane in filtration and purification. PVDF/CuO composite membrane had high efficiency in disinfection and wastewater treatment; The COD of the treated effluent was less than 5 mg/L and the removal of turbidity and TSS was about 99% and no fecal coliforms were detected.


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