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Thin-film composite polymer membranes based on nylon and halloysite: synthesis, characterization, and performance

Majed M. Alghamdi and Adel A. El-Zahhar

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia



Received: 21 October 2022  Accepted: 11 February 2023


In this study, thin-film composite (TFC) membranes were prepared by interfacial polymerization using halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) as an additive on the nylon (Ny) surface as a porous support. The prepared TFC membranes were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Further, they were characterized using water uptake, surface wettability, and porosity. The effect of HNTs’ content (0.0–0.1 wt.%) on the membrane performance was studied in terms of water permeation, antifouling, and salt and organic dye rejection efficiency. SEM images revealed surface morphology changes, and AFM images indicated surface roughness changes after interfacial polymerization. The pure water permeability decreased from 30 to 16 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 by increasing the HNTs’ content from 0 to 0.1 wt.%. The rejection of Na2SO4 and NaCl improved by 119% and 194%, reaching 92.5% and 65% rejection, respectively. The TFC membranes were also studied for the rejection of Congo red (CR) and crystal violet (CV) dyes from water. The results showed an improvement in rejection of about 290% and 282%, with maximum rejections of 82% and 65% for CR and CV, respectively, using a TFC membrane with 0.1 wt.% HNTs.

Keywords: Interfacial polymerization; Thin film; Halloysite; Nanofiltration; Membranes

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-023-02730-6


Chemical Papers 77 (7) 3679–3689 (2023)

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