Document Type: Original research
Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran
Membrane Technology Research Center, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran
Grinded glass fiber (GGF) embedded high density polyethylene (HDPE) membranes were prepared via thermally induced phase separation method. FESEM images showed that all the membranes had leafy structure, indicating a solid-liquid mechanism during phase separation. The results of EDX and TGA analyses confirmed that the fibers were dispersed in the HDPE matrix uniformly. Normalized water flux of the membranes increased from 1 for the neat HDPE membrane to more than 4 for 10 wt% GGF/HDPE membrane. Moreover, the contact angle decreased from 129° to 94° as the GGF content increased in the membranes, showing an improvement in the surface hydrophilicity of the membranes. The AFM results revealed that the surface roughness of the membranes was increased with increasing the GGF content. The results of abrasion test revealed that the GGF/HDPE membranes had a more abrasion resistance than the neat HDPE membrane. Finally, the fouling behavior of the membranes was investigated by the filtration of BSA protein solution and the results showed that with increasing the glass fiber content, total fouling ratio decreased from 90% for the neat HDPE membrane to 62% for 10 wt% GGF/HDPE membrane, indicating that the antifouling properties of the membranes were improved due to the presence of glass fiber.