Slippery for scaling resistance in membrane distillation: a novel porous micropillared superhydrophobic surface

Xiao, Z. et al. (2019) Slippery for scaling resistance in membrane distillation: a novel porous micropillared superhydrophobic surface. Water Research, 155, pp. 152-161. (doi:10.1016/j.watres.2019.01.036) (PMID:30844676)

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Abstract

Scaling in membrane distillation (MD) is a key issue in desalination of concentrated saline water, where the interface property between the membrane and the feed become critical. In this paper, a slippery mechanism was explored as an innovative concept to understand the scaling behavior in membrane distillation for a soluble salt, NaCl. The investigation was based on a novel design of a superhydrophobic polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane with micro-pillar arrays (MP-PVDF) using a micromolding phase separation (μPS) method. The membrane showed a contact angle of 166.0 ± 2.3° and the sliding angle of 15.8 ± 3.3°. After CF4 plasma treatment, the resultant membrane (CF4-MP-PVDF) showed a reduced sliding angle of 3.0o. In direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD), the CF4-MP-PVDF membrane illustrated excellent anti-scaling in concentrating saturated NaCl feed. Characterization of the used membranes showed that aggregation of NaCl crystals occurred on the control PVDF and MP-PVDF membranes, but not on the CF4-MP-PVDF membrane. To understand this phenomenon, a “slippery” theory was introduced and correlated the sliding angle to the slippery surface of CF4-MP-PVDF and its anti-scaling property. This work proposed a well-defined physical and theoretical platform for investigating scaling problems in membrane distillation and beyond.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The research is supported by Newton Advanced Fellowship (Grant No. NA170113) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. U1507117, 21676290, 51861145313).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:He, Mr Tao and Yin, Professor Huabing and Yuan, Dr Xiaofei
Authors: Xiao, Z., Zheng, R., Liu, Y., He, H., Yuan, X., Ji, Y., Li, D., Yin, H., Zhang, Y., Li, X.-M., and He, T.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Water Research
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0043-1354
ISSN (Online):1879-2448
Published Online:01 February 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Water Research 155:152-161
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3001800Nanotechnology for clean water: High throughput, In-situ analysis of biofouling in membrane separation processesHuabing YinThe Royal Society (ROYSOC)NA170113ENG - Biomedical Engineering