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Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry
Vol. 22, 2015, Pages: 357–367

Fabrication of alumina/polysulfone nanocomposite membranes with biofouling mitigation approach in membrane bioreactors

Maryam Homayoonfal, Mohammad Reza Mehrni, Samane Rahmani, Yasaman Mohades Mojtahedi

School of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran 11155-4563, Iran.


In this study, polysulfone/alumina nanocomposite membranes were synthesized with the principal aim of reducing biofouling in membrane bioreactors. The filtration experiments indicate that alumina nanoparticles can increase water flux by enhancing membrane hydrophilicity while maintaining the separation efficiency through decreasing porosity. Altogether, as confirmed by AFM images, the development of roughness results in biofilm formation reduction on the membrane surface layer. On the whole, presence of alumina nanoparticles up to the polymer concentration of 0.03 wt.% will result in an augment in separation yield up to 7%, four times higher water flux, and 83% reduction in membrane fouling.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Alumina nanoparticle; Nanocomposite membrane; Biofouling; Biofilm; Membrane bioreactor.

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