Postgraduate Seminar Presentation : Developing robust membranes for membrane distillation (MD)

Speaker Lu Kangjia (Supervisor: Prof Chung Tai-Shung, Neal)

Host Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Date/Time 11 Dec - 11 Dec, 2.00PM

Venue E5-02-32 , Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore


Management of produced water from shale gas production is a global challenge. Vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) is considered as a promising solution because of its various advantages. However, low surface tension species in produced water can easily deposit on the membrane surface and cause severe fouling or wetting problems. To solve the problems, an omniphobic polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) hollow fiber membrane has been developed via silica nanoparticle deposition followed by a Teflon® AF 2400 coating in this study. The resultant membrane shows good repellency towards various liquids with different surface tensions and chemistry, including water, ethylene glycol (EG), sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) solution, cooking oil and ethanol. It also exhibits stable performance in 7-h VMD tests with a feed solution containing up to 0.6 mM of SDS.  In addition, the effects of surface energy, surface morphology as well as nanoparticle size on membrane omniphobicity have been systematically investigated. This work may provide valuable guidance to molecularly design omniphobic VMD membranes for produced water treatment.