Flux enhancement of thin-film composite membrane by graphene oxide incorporation

  • Sajjad Jalali
  • Abdollah Rashidi Mehrabadi
  • Jalal ShayeganEmail author
  • Maryam Mirabi
  • Sayed Siavash Madaeni
Research Article


Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a rapid-developing desalination technology; however, it suffers from inefficient energy consumption. To reduce energy consumption, in this study, reverse osmosis thin-film composite membrane (TFC) module was prepared and composed of m-phenylenediamine (MPD), graphene oxide, and 1,3,5-benzenetricarbonyl chloride (TMC) by interfacial polymerization on the surface of a polysulfone substrate. The graphene oxide was embedded in the mentioned thin-film composite by adding it to MPD aqueous solution to enhance permeation flux and, thus, reduce energy consumption. This study assessed the performance of the membrane using a lab-scale RO setup and evaluated permeability and salt rejection. The chemical properties of TFC were also analyzed using ATR-FTIR. Incorporating various concentrations (0, 20, 40, 60, and 80 ppm) of graphene oxide into the TFC was shown to improve water flux. Flux improvement of 50% was achieved by using graphene (80 ppm), while 10% of salt rejection was lost. These flux increases resulted from the changes in surface charge, surface roughness, and hydrophilicity due to the embedment of GO nanosheets. The simplicity of the method, compatibility of GO with polyamide membrane, and quite short-time reaction are the highlights of this technique for developing novel TFC membranes for water treatment.


Thin-film composite Graphene oxide Flux enhancement 



This research is been founded by Iran National Science Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors whose names are mentioned in this article certify that they have NO affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sajjad Jalali
    • 1
  • Abdollah Rashidi Mehrabadi
    • 1
  • Jalal Shayegan
    • 2
    Email author
  • Maryam Mirabi
    • 1
  • Sayed Siavash Madaeni
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Civil, Water and Environmental EngineeringShahid Beheshti UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Petroleum EngineeringSharif University of TechnologyTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringRazi UniversityKermanshahIran

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