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Fabrication of a novel antifouling TiO2/CPTES/metformin-PES nanocomposite membrane for removal of various organic pollutants and heavy metal ions from wastewater

Vahid Barahimi, Ramezan Ali Taheri, Amirhossein Mazaheri, and Hamid Moghimi

Nanobiotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Received: 10 December 2019  Accepted: 28 April 2020


The present study focuses on the synthesis of high-antifouling TiO2/3-cyanopropyltriethoxysilane (CPTES)/Metformin-polyethersulfone (PES) membrane with various dosages of NPs (0.1, 0.5 and 1 wt%). The performance of the membranes was studied by the rejection of Cu(II) ions, COD content and dye removal from liquorice extraction plant (LEP) wastewater. The properties of the prepared nanoparticles (NPs) and membranes were identified by XRD, SEM, FT-IR, contact angle and AFM analyses. The permeability and antifouling tests were performed for all the blended nanocomposite membranes. The addition of NPs in the membrane network improves membrane hydrophilicity, permeate flux and flux recovery ratio (FRR) values due to the presence of amine, hydroxyl and silica groups on the membrane surface. The M4 (1 wt% of NPs) membrane is selected as an optimal nanocomposite membrane which exhibits a much higher pure water flux (37.2 kg m−2 h−1) and FRR value (98%). Also, the high permeation flux (25 kg m−2 h−1), COD removal (88%) and dye removal (98%) were achieved during filtration of LEP wastewater with COD concentration of 800 mg l−1 at pressure of 5 bar after 150 min.

Keywords: PES nanofiltration membrane; TiO2/CPTES/metformin nanoparticles; Antifouling; Direct red 16 as an azo dye; Liquorice extraction plant wastewater; Heavy metal

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-020-01178-2


Chemical Papers 74 (10) 3545–3556 (2020)

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