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Effective NaCl and dye rejection of hybrid graphene oxide/graphene layered membranes

Abstract

Carbon nanomaterials are robust and possess fascinating properties useful for separation technology applications, but their scalability and high salt rejection when in a strong cross flow for long periods of time remain challenging. Here, we present a graphene-based membrane that is prepared using a simple and environmentally friendly method by spray coating an aqueous dispersion of graphene oxide/few-layered graphene/deoxycholate. The membranes were robust enough to withstand strong cross-flow shear for a prolonged period (120 h) while maintaining NaCl rejection near 85% and 96% for an anionic dye. Experimental results and molecular dynamic simulations revealed that the presence of deoxycholate enhances NaCl rejection in these graphene-based membranes. In addition, these novel hybrid-layered membranes exhibit better chlorine resistance than pure graphene oxide membranes. The desalination performance and aggressive shear and chlorine resistance of these scalable graphene-based membranes are promising for use in practical water separation applications.

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Figure 1: GO/FLG membrane preparation.
Figure 2: Morphology characterization of the membrane building blocks, the GO and FLG sheets.
Figure 3: Membrane robustness under cross flow and desalination performance of GO/FLG membranes.
Figure 4: GO/FLG membrane mechanism, chlorine resistance and dye rejection.
Figure 5: Potential energy maps of BLG between GO sheets.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Center of Innovation Program, Global Aqua Innovation Center for Improving Living Standards and Water Sustainability, from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

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A.M.-G. designed the experiments, performed FTIR, SEM, Raman spectroscopy and desalination, and wrote the manuscript. R.C.-S. carried out GO synthesis and XPS, and wrote the manuscript. H.M. performed discussion and preliminary DWCNT samples. J.O.-M. performed XRD and wrote the manuscript. T.A. and S.T. performed molecular dynamic simulations. T.F. provided valuable technical assistance. T.H. performed TEM observations. K.T., M.T. and M.E. participated in discussions and wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Aaron Morelos-Gomez or Morinobu Endo.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Morelos-Gomez, A., Cruz-Silva, R., Muramatsu, H. et al. Effective NaCl and dye rejection of hybrid graphene oxide/graphene layered membranes. Nature Nanotech 12, 1083–1088 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2017.160

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