Comparison of Hydrophilicity and Mechanical Properties of Nanocomposite Membranes with Cellulose Nanocrystals and Carbon Nanotubes.
The inherent properties of hydrophilicity and mechanical strength of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) make them a possible alternative to carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that may present fewer objections to application water-treatment membranes. In this work, the hydrophilicity and mechanical properties of CNCs and CNTs nanocomposite poly(ether sulfone) (PES) membranes were characterized and compared. Membrane pore geometry was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Overall porosity and mean pore radius were calculated based on a wet-dry method. Results showed that PES polymers were loosely packed in the top layer of both the CNC- and CNT-composite membranes (CNC-M and CNT-M). The porosity of the CNC-M was greater than that of the CNT-M. Membrane hydrophilicity, measured by water-contact angle, free energy of cohesion, and water flux, was increased through the addition of either CNCs or functionalized CNTs to an otherwise hydrophobic polymer membrane. The hydrophilicity of the CNC-M was greater than the CNT-M. In addition, the Young's modulus and tensile strength was enhanced for both the CNC-M and CNT-M. While smaller concentrations of CNTs were required to achieve an equal increase in Young's modulus compared with the CNCs, the elasticity of the CNC-composite membranes was greater.
Bai, L; Bossa, N; Qu, F; Winglee, J; Li, G; Sun, K; Liang, H; Wiesner, MR
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