PhD Proposal by Wail Falath

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Tuesday September 1, 2015 - Wednesday September 2, 2015
      4:00 pm - 5:59 pm
  • Location: MRDC Room 3515
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Summary Sentence: Synthesis, Modification And Characterization of Economical, High Performance Reverse Osmosis Membranes

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PTFE PhD Proposal – Wail Falath


Date: Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: MRDC Room 3515

Dr. Karl Jacob, MSE (advisor)

Dr. Hamid Garmestani, MSE
Dr. Youjiang Wang, MSE
Dr. Donggang Yao, MSE
Dr. Kyriaki Kalaitzidou, ME


Title: Synthesis, Modification And Characterization of Economical, High Performance Reverse Osmosis Membranes



Water is becoming increasingly scarce as the demand for fresh water continues to increase in a drastic manner. One potential new water resource is desalination of sea and brackish water. Reverse osmosis membranes desalination is one of the many processes used to obtain potable water fit for human consumption from seawater. Nevertheless, the membranes used in this process are prone to fouling by microorganisms. 

It has been shown from literature that developing an anti-fouling, highly selective and highly permeable reverse osmosis membrane is a necessity. To develop such a membrane, one should improve the hydrophilicity of the membrane surface, reduce its roughness and make the surface negatively charged. The overall goal of this research is the development of high performance reverse osmosis membranes materials with improved permeability, high salt rejection and superior biofouling resistance.

The approach will be four-fold. First, commercially available polyamide thin film composite reverse osmosis membranes will be analyzed and characterized to gain a better understanding of the transport phenomena. Then, those membranes will be modified with several techniques like plasma treatment and physical adsorption to improve the transport properties. This will be followed by the synthesis of low cost high performance membranes using poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA), polysulfone (PS) and other polymers as the membrane matrix and different fillers like Pluronic F-127, Vanillin, MWCNTs, ZnO NPs, Chitosan, Gum Arabic, etc. Some of these fillers will enhance the permeability and others will improve biofouling resistance and selectivity of the synthesized membranes. The last step is the comprehensive evaluation and characterization of the newly synthesized and modified membranes. Permeation experiments will be carried out using commercially available stirred permeation cell. Various techniques, such as TEM, SEM, AFM, XRD, DSC, TGA, FTIR, contact angle and zeta potential measurements will be conducted to characterize and analyze the membranes.


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Phd proposal
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Aug 18, 2015 - 11:41am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:13pm