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Institute of Water Security and Science


Can commerercially available filtration membranes be easily functionalized in such a way to enhence the removal the charged contaminants in the water treatment process? The literature demonstrates there have been two pioneering works that demonstrated that Ultrathin Self-Assembled Nanoparticle (USANP) membranes (composed of ~5 nm diameter metallic gold nanoparticles surrounded by organic ligands) when applied to commercial membranes displayed charge sensitive rejection to molecular dyes and also have the ability to charge modify the openings in commercial filters. The rejection mechanisms in these works are proposed to be either size dependent or charged based. Recent experimental results have demonstrated that the supporting filter for these USANP membranes can be functionalized solely with highly charged molecular dye Direct Red 80 using no USANP membranes. After functionalization with direct red 80 alone, average rejection for tested molecular dyes at a concentration of 145 µM increased from 31.8 % to 85.6 % even without the addition of a USANP layer. This indicates that dyes themselves are capable of functionalizing the commercial membranes providing an additional method to enhanced rejection of charged contaminants. This poster highlights the efforts made by a Preservice and Early Career Research for Teachers (PERT) team and an Undergraduate student who was awarded an Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Award to measure the rejection results of these two different functionalization methods. Knowledge gained from these experiments may allow for enhanced rejection of charged based contaminants in polluted waters.


IWSS Spring 2021 Workshop Series Poster Session