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(485g) Tri-Bore PVDF Hollow Fibers with a Super-Hydrophobic Coating for Membrane Distillation

Lu, K., National University of Singapore
Zuo, J., National University of Singapore
Chung, T. S., National University of Singapore
Membranes with good mechanical strength, high vapor flux and outstanding anti-wetting properties are essential for membrane distillation (MD) applications. In this work, porous polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) tri-bore hollow fiber membranes with super-hydrophobicity are developed to achieve these desired properties. The tri-bore hollow fiber offers better mechanical strength than the conventional single-bore fiber. To improve its anti-wetting properties, Teflon® AF 2400 is coated on the membrane surface. The effects of coating on membrane morphology, performance and anti-wetting properties have been thoroughly investigated. With an optimal coating condition (0.025 wt% of Teflon® AF 2400, 30 s), a super-hydrophobic surface with a contact angle of 151o is achieved. The resultant membrane shows an increase of 109% in liquid entry pressure (LEP) with a slight sacrifice of 21% in flux. Long term direct contact MD tests have confirmed that the Teflon® AF 2400 coated membrane has enhanced stability with an average flux of 21 kg m-2 h-1 and rejection of 99.99% at 60 C for desalination application.