Sz. Kertész, T. B. de Freitas, C. Hodúr

The wider applications of all membrane separation processes have a main obstacle, namely the fouling phenomena, which have to be understood in more details. Surface properties, hydrophilic and hydrophobic characteristics of a polymer membrane can be determined by measuring the contact angle. The hydrophilicity of a membrane has an important influence on its performances, like permeate flux, membrane rejection or membrane fouling characteristics. In our work the contact angles of three kinds of typically commercial ultrafiltration (UF-PES-4), nanofiltration (NE-90) and reverse osmosis (LFC-30) membranes were firstly investigated and compared by contact angle goniometer measurements. The relationships between the contact angles were researched by well considering the effects of membrane sample pretreatments by distilled water prewetting and water droplet volume. Furthermore, the effects of prewetting, water droplet contact time on different molecular weight cut-off ultrafiltration membranes’ surface and droplet pH on the contact angle values were also investigated. Moreover, fresh, clean and dry, as well as pretreated, and fouled UF membranes were also measured and compared.

Keywords: contact angle, goniometer, hydrophilicity, polymer membrane

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