Rejection of pharmaceuticals by forward osmosis membranes
Tang, Chuyang Y.
Date of Issue2012
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Singapore Membrane Technology Centre
Rejection of four pharmaceutical compounds, carbamazepine, diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen, by forward osmosis (FO) membranes was investigated in this study. For the first time, the rejection efficiency of the pharmaceutical compounds was compared between commercial cellulose triacetate (CTA) based membranes and thin film composite (TFC) polyamide based membranes. The rejection behavior was related to membrane interfacial properties, physicochemical characteristics of the pharmaceutical molecules and feed solution pH. TFC polyamide membranes exhibited excellent overall performance, with high water flux, excellent pH stability and great rejection of all pharmaceuticals investigated (>94%). For commercial CTA based FO membranes, hydrophobic interaction between the compounds and membranes exhibited strong influence on their rejection under acidic conditions. The pharmaceuticals rejection was well correlated to their hydrophobicity (log D). Under alkaline conditions, both electrostatic repulsion and size exclusion contributed to the removal of deprotonated molecules. The pharmaceuticals rejection by CTA-HW membrane at pH 8 followed the order: diclofenac (99%) > carbamazepine (95%) > ibuprofen (93%) ≈ naproxen (93%). These results can be important for FO membrane synthesis, modification and their application in water purification.
Journal of hazardous materials
© 2012 Elsevier B.V.