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Enhanced Fouling Resistance and Antibacterial Properties of Novel Graphene Oxide-Arabic Gum Polyethersulfone Membranes

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-03-18, 09:02 and posted on 2024-03-18, 09:02 authored by Ahmad Najjar, Souhir Sabri, Rashad Al-Gaashani, Viktor Kochkodan, Muataz Atieh

Membrane biofouling has proved to be a major obstacle when it comes to membrane efficiency in membrane-based water treatment. Solutions to this problem remain elusive. This study presents novel polyethersulfone (PES) membranes that are fabricated using the phase inversion method at different loadings of graphene oxide (GO) and 1 wt. % arabic gum (AG) as nanofiller and pore forming agents. Synthesized GO was examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for morphological studies and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) for elemental analysis. The prepared GO flakes showed a high content of oxygen-containing groups (~31%). The fabricated membranes were extensively characterized, including water contact angle analysis for hydrophilicity, zeta potential measurements for surface charge, SEM, total porosity and pore size measurements. The prepared membranes underwent fouling tests using bovine serum albumin (BSA) solutions and biofouling tests using model Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacterial suspensions as well as real treated sewage effluent (TSE). The results showed that the novel PES/GO membranes possessed strong hydrophilicity and negative surface charge with an increase in porosity, pore size and water flux. The PES/GO membranes exhibited superior antibacterial action against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species, implicating PES membranes which incorporate GO and AG as novel membranes that are capable of high antibiofouling properties with high flux.

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Published in: Applied Sciences
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2019

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Health and Life Sciences - HBKU
  • Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute - HBKU

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