Scalable Chitosan-Graphene Oxide Membranes: The Effect of GO Size on Properties and Cross-Flow Filtration Performance

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Article - Abstract Only

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Dyes and pigments, Composites, Fluxes, Nanoparticles, Membranes


Chitosan (CS)-graphene oxide (GO) composite films were fabricated, characterized, and evaluated as pressure-driven water filtration membranes. GO particles were incorporated into a chitosan polymer solution to form a suspension that was cast as a membrane via evaporative phase inversion allowing for scale-up for cross-flow testing conditions. Morphology and composition results for nano and granular GO in the CS matrix indicate that the particle size of GO impacts the internal membrane morphology as well as the structural order and the chemical composition. Performance of the membranes was evaluated with cationic and anionic organic probe molecules and revealed charge-dependent mechanisms of dye removal. The CSGO membranes had rejections of at least 95% for cationic methylene blue with mass balances obtained from measurements of the feed, concentrate, and permeate. This result suggests the dominant mechanism of removal is physical rejection for both GO particle sizes. For anionic methyl orange, the results indicate sorption as the dominant mechanism of removal, and performance is dependent on both GO particle size and time, with micrometer-scale GO removing 68–99% and nanometer-scale GO showing modest removal of 29–64%. The pure water flux for CSGO composite membranes ranged from 2–4.5 L/m2 h at a transmembrane pressure of 344 kPa (3.44 bar), with pure water permeance ranging from 5.8 × 10–3 to 0.01 L/m2 h kPa (0.58–1.3 L/m2 h bar). Based on the 41 μm membrane thickness obtained from microscopy, the hydraulic permeability ranged from 0.24–0.54 L μm/m2 h kPa (24.4–54.1 L μm/m2 h bar).

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