Preparation, characterization and performance evaluation of ZnO deposited polyethylene ultrafiltration membranes for dye and protein separation

Vahid Vatanpour*, Gholamhosein Nazari Nekouhi, Majid Esmaeili

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


In this research, polyethylene (PE) membrane was prepared by the thermal induced phase separation and its surface was modified by the growth of zinc oxide (ZnO) crystals on the surface and inside of the pores by chemical bath deposition method. Effect of different coating parameters such as immersion time in ZnO precursor, precursor concentration and KMnO4 concentration as a PE surface activator were investigated on ZnO layer growth to obtain a membrane with the least fouling against the protein and organic dye wastewater with suitable flux and rejection. The presence of grown ZnO nanoparticles on the membrane surface was confirmed by FTIR-ATR, SEM, XRD, contact angle and EDX analyses. Water flux of the membrane containing 0.5 M ZnO precursor concentration and 5 mM KMnO4 solution reached to its maximum. The more addition of the precursor concentration was blocked membrane pores and reduced the pure water flux. Also, the analysis of the water contact angle showed an increase in the membrane's water hydrophilicity by increasing the ZnO growth. The BSA fouling test was carried out, which the results showed better performance in reducing fouling of the modified membranes rather than the uncoated membranes. Blue indigo dye was selected for rejection testing, which rejection of the layered membranes was more than 99%. All the modified membranes were better performance in filtration of the colored solution than the uncoated membrane. In addition, these membranes were compared by plasma modified membrane and the results showed that the ZnO grown membranes have better performance compared to the plasma modified membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers


  • Chemical bath deposition (CBD)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • TIPS
  • Ultrafiltration
  • ZnO layer


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