Synthesis and Characterization of Indigenous Hydrophilized Polyvinylidene Fluoride Membrane for Drinking Water Purification: Experimental Study and Modeling Aspects

Kancharla Ravichand1, Vadeghar Ramesh Kumar1, Ginuga Prabhakar Reddy1, Sundergopal Sridhar2
1 University College of Technology (UCT), Osmania University, Hyderabad 500007, India 2 Membrane Separations Group, Chemical Engineering Division, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), Hyderabad 500007, India
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Indigenous polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane was hydrophilized by blending with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) which was further cross-linked with glutaraldehyde and tested for surface water purification. Synthesized membranes were characterized by SEM and FTIR to study the surface and cross-sectional morphologies and intermolecular interactions, respectively. The effect of parameters, namely feed pressure, operational time, and the cross-linking agent concentration on the process efficiency was studied. PVDF/PVA blend membrane exhibited a reasonable process flux of 205 l/m2•h at 0.5 MPa and ambient temperature of 308 K. Experimental data were fitted to the limiting flux, osmotic pressure and pore blocking model to find the suitable theoretical model to predict the effect of concentration polarization on the separation performance and back flushing frequency. Osmotic pressure model was found to be a suitable model and the predicted results from the model were in agreement with the experimental findings. After the model was validated for the synthesized membrane, the simulation was carried out to predict the cake formation and the back flushing time was found as 97 h. Cost estimation was carried out for a pilot plant of capacity of 1000 m3/day to emphasize the economic feasibility of the developed process.

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