Deduction of Surfactants Effect on Performance, Morphology, Thermal and Molecular Properties of Polymeric Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) Based Ultrafiltration Membrane
In membrane making, surfactant material is one of the effective strategies to produce membrane / thin film with optimal and specific properties. This paper addressed the effect of Sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), Triton X-100 and Tween 80 as additives for the making of Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) ultrafiltration (UF) membranes. The fabricated membranes were analysed in the aspect of performance, morphological structures, thermal properties and molecular orientation. Analysis results showed that the surfactant additives enhanced the membrane performance and properties. Surprisingly, the addition of 2 wt% surfactant increased the permeate flux of bovine serum albumin (BSA) up to 78.14 L/m2h compared to membrane without surfactant with flux at only 2.74 L/m2h. In addition, the role of surfactants on membrane pores and pore properties of PVDF UF membranes were examined. The cross-sectional morphological structures showed that these surfactants led towards the formation of macro-voids and finger-like structures as well as a spongy layer. The surfactants additives also improved the membrane pores and pore properties which reflect to the protein rejection up to 85 % and 78 % of BSA and egg albumin (EA), respectively. Moreover, analysis on the thermal features found that SDS, Triton X-100 and Tween 80 promoted better thermal stability and significantly fine molecular alignment which provided the versatility for the membrane to be used for any applications.