Application of sulfonic acid group functionalized graphene oxide to improve hydrophilicity, permeability, and antifouling of PVDF nanocomposite ultrafiltration membranes
- S. Ayyaru, Y.-H. Ahn
- J. Membr. Sci
In this research, MgAl-CO32- nanolayered double hydroxide (NLDH) was synthesized through a facile coprecipitation method, followed by a hydrothermal treatment. The prepared NLDHs were used as a hydrophilic nanofiller for improving the performance of the PVDF-based ultrafiltration membranes. The main objective of this research was to obtain the optimized formula of NLDH/PVDF nanocomposite membrane presenting the best performance using computational techniques as a cost-effective method. For this aim, an artificial neural network (ANN) model was developed for modeling and expressing the relationship between the performance of the nanocomposite membrane (pure water flux, protein flux and flux recovery ratio) and the affecting parameters including the NLDH, PVP 29000 and polymer concentrations. The effects of the mentioned parameters and the interaction between the parameters were investigated using the contour plot predicted with the developed model. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and water contact angle techniques were applied to characterize the nanocomposite membranes and to interpret the predictions of the ANN model. The developed ANN model was introduced to genetic algorithm (GA) as a bioinspired optimizer to determine the optimum values of input parameters leading to high pure water flux, protein flux, and flux recovery ratio. The optimum values for NLDH, PVP 29000 and the PVDF concentration were determined to be 0.54, 1, and 18 wt %, respectively. The performance of the nanocomposite membrane prepared using the optimum values proposed by GA was investigated experimentally, in which the results were in good agreement with the values predicted by ANN model with error lower than 6%. This good agreement confirmed that the nanocomposite membranes prformance could be successfully modeled and optimized by ANN-GA system.