Composite poly(ether sulfone) membranes integrated with ZnO nanostructures either directly blended or grown in situ have enhanced antibacterial activity with improved functionality in reducing the biofouling in water treatment applications. The pore structure and surface properties of the composite were studied to investigate the effect of the addition of ZnO nanostructures. The hydrophilicity of the blended membranes increased with a higher content of ZnO nanoparticles in the membrane (2-6%), which could be further controlled by varying the growth conditions of ZnO nanorods on the polymer surface. Improved water flux, bovine serum albumin rejection, and inhibition of Escherichia coli bacterial growth under visible light irradiation was observed for the membranes decorated with ZnO nanorods compared to those in the membranes simply blended with ZnO nanoparticles. No regrowth of E. coli was recorded even 2 days after the incubation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)