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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 363175, 11 pages
Research Article

Characterization and Evaluation of the Improved Performance of Modified Reverse Osmosis Membranes by Incorporation of Various Organic Modifiers and SnO2 Nanoparticles

1Nuclear Science Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences, King Saud University (KSU), P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

Received 11 March 2015; Revised 23 May 2015; Accepted 8 June 2015

Academic Editor: Vanna Torrisi

Copyright © 2015 Kh. M. AL-Sheetan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes modified with nanoparticles of varied concentrations (0.001–0.1 wt.%) were developed via in situ interfacial polymerization (IP) of trimesoyl chloride (TMC) and m-phenylenediamine (MPD) on nanoporous polysulfone supports. The nanoparticles dispersed in the dense nodular polyamide on the polysulfone side. The effects of IP reaction time and loading on membrane separation performance were studied. The modified reverse osmosis membranes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffractometer (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), contact angle measurement, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The synthesized nanoparticles size varies between 10 and 30 nm. The results exhibited a smooth membrane surface and average surface roughness from 31 to 68 nm. Moreover, hydrophilicity was enhanced and contact angle decreased. The outcomes showed that an IP reaction time was essential to form a denser -polyamide layer for higher salt rejection, the developed reverse osmosis membranes with the incorporation of the nanoparticles were examined by measuring permeate fluxes and salt rejection, and the permeate flux increased from 26 to 43.4 L/m2·h, while salt rejection was high at 98% (2000 ppm NaCl solution at 225 psi (1.55 MPa), 25°C).