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Kwon, Young-Nam
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Holistic approach for fabrication of superhydrophobic MXene-based membrane for enhanced membrane distillation

Ray, Saikat SinhaSharma, Tata Sanjay KannaMyung, SuwanChoi, Won MookKwon, Young-Nam
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DESALINATION, v.580, pp.117536
There is growing interest in membrane distillation (MD) as a means of desalinating seawater with 100 % theoretical salt rejection which has the capacity to address freshwater scarcity. MD has huge potential for commercial applications owing to its low operating temperature and pressure requirements. However, wetting polymeric membranes inhibits water permeance and lowers salt rejection. MXene nanosheet-incorporated polyvinylidene (PVDF) membranes have been constructed for enhanced vapor transport with high water repellence and antiwetting properties. MXene nanosheets in PVDF polymeric matrices are responsible for their high super-hydrophobicity, which can mitigate membrane fouling and wetting during the MD process. As far as experimental outcomes are concerned, the pristine PVDF membrane exhibited severe wetting with salt leakage. Ti3C2Tx MXene nanosheets allow the formation of hierarchical polymeric micro/nanostructures, changing the intrinsic hydrophilicity to super-hydrophobicity. Surface engineering of a PVDF membrane with MXene nanosheets enables efficient saline desalination during the MD process. The surface-engineered MXene/PVDF membrane demonstrated a high-water contact angle of 143° with extremely high self-cleaning characteristics as compared to that of pristine PVDF membrane. As far as the performance of the membrane is concerned, the water flux of the pristine PVDF membrane decreased from 6.5 LMH to 6 LMH after the 14th hour which can be attributed to partial pores wetting during MD operation. Eventually, the pristine PVDF membrane exhibited a continuous salt flux (SF) increase. However, MXene/PVDF membrane showed stable water flux (8 LMH) and negligible SF. The study therefore demonstrates a facile and holistic approach for constructing MXene-based PVDF membranes that exhibit superior antiwetting performance during MD operation.
Elsevier BV


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