Effect of graphene oxide (GO) and polyvinylpyrollidone (PVP) additives on the hydrophilicity of composite polyethersulfone (PES) membrane


  • Nurul Fattin Diana Junaidi Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Nur Hidayati Othman Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Munawar Zaman Shahruddin Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Nur Hashimah Alias Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Woe Jye Lau Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Ahmad Fauzi Ismail Universiti Teknologi Malaysia




Graphene oxide, polyvinylpyrollidone, hydrophilicity, pure water flux, permeability, composite PES membrane


Membrane based separation system is considered as a promising technology to purify water, owing to its simplicity and efficiency in operation. However, the application is limited by membrane fouling, which can lead to the declination of water flux and premature failure of membrane. The fouling can be controlled through membrane surface modification by blending hydrophilic materials during the casting solution preparation. Polyethersulfone (PES) membrane is naturally hydrophobic due to lack of oxygen functional group, which limits its application in the filtration of water. Therefore, modification of PES-based membranes is required. In this work, modification of the PES membrane was carried out by incorporating carbon-based nanomaterials (graphene oxide (GO)) and a well-known organic polymer (polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)). The effect of each additive toward the hydrophilicity of composite PES membrane was then investigated. GO was synthesized using modified Hummers method due to its simpler and shorter process. Each additive was added during the casting solution preparation and the amount added was varied from 0.5 to 1.0 wt%. The resultant composite PES membranes were characterized using XRD, FTIR and TGA prior to hydrophilicity and pure water flux (PWF) measurement. It was observed that the additives (PVP and GO) have significantly affected the membranes hydrophilicity, resulting in lower contact angle and higher pure water flux. The highest value of PWF (230 L/m2.h) with lowest contact angle (42 °) were observed for PES-1.0GOPVP membrane due to high amount of GO and PVP. Improved PWF performance of composite PES-1.0GOPVP membrane was attributed to the better dispersibility of the PVP and GO and increased surface hydrophilicity of the modified composite membranes. This study indicated that PVP and GO are effective modifiers to enhance the performance of PES membrane

Author Biographies

Nurul Fattin Diana Junaidi, Universiti Teknologi MARA

Faculty of Chemical Engineering

Nur Hidayati Othman, Universiti Teknologi MARA

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Munawar Zaman Shahruddin, Universiti Teknologi MARA

Faculty of Chemical Engineering

Nur Hashimah Alias, Universiti Teknologi MARA

Faculty of Chemical Engineering

Woe Jye Lau, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)


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