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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 22, 2014

Physicochemical characteristics of poly(piperazine-amide) TFC nanofiltration membrane prepared at various reaction times and its relation to the performance

  • Nurasyikin Misdan , Woei Jye Lau and Ahmad Fauzi Ismail EMAIL logo


Poly(piperazine-amide) thin film composite (TFC) nanofiltration (NF) membranes were prepared via interfacial polymerization (IP) of trimesoyl chloride (TMC) in cyclohexane and piperazine (PIP) in water. The effect of polymerization time on the physicochemical characteristics of poly(piperazine-amide) layers and the final membrane performance was studied in detail. The morphological structures of prepared membranes were investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), by contrast, was used to determine the chemical characteristics of the membranes. It is evident that the surface roughness increased with increasing polymerization time due to the formation of a supergranule-like structure over the interfacially synthesized poly(piperazine-amide) layer. Moreover, increasing the polymerization time led to a dramatic reduction of water permeability due to the significant increase of crosslinking poly(piperazine-amide) barrier layers. Experimentally determined data showed that the TFC NF membrane prepared at 10 s of polymerization time experienced 51.2 l/m2.h of water permeability with 97.02% of Na2 SO4 salt rejection at an operating pressure of 0.6 MPa.

Corresponding author: Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia, e-mail: ; ; and Faculty of Petroleum and Renewable Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia


The authors are grateful for research financial support by the Ministry of Education under the Long-term Research Grant Scheme (Vot no. 4L803) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia under the Research University Grant Scheme – Tier 1(Vot no. Q.J130000.2509.05H48). N. Misdan is grateful for the sponsorship given by the Ministry of Education under the MyBrain15 (MyPhD) scheme during her Ph.D. studies.


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Received: 2014-5-29
Accepted: 2014-7-17
Published Online: 2014-8-22
Published in Print: 2015-1-1

©2015 by De Gruyter

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