Document Type : Research Paper


Water and Wastewater Research Center (WWRC), Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.


An innovative method based on the membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology was developed as a potential remedy for the water shortage. MBRs attracted much attention in the field of wastewater treatment and reuse. It is reported from many researchers that membrane bioreactor technology is feasible and an efficient method for the treatment of wastewater. However, MBRs are faced to membrane fouling which lead to short membrane lifetime and increase operating costs. Here we was modified polyethersulfone (PES) ultrafiltration membrane by blending of O-carboxymethyl chitosan/ Fe3O4 nanoparticles in a PES solution (14% polymer weight) and casted by a phase inversion process. Membranes with four different weight percentage of O-Carboxymethyl chitosan bound Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles (OCMCs-Fe3O4) to PES of 0.05, 0.10, and 1 wt. % were tested. The OCMCS-Fe3O4 nanoparticles were prepared by the binding of carboxymethyl chitosan (CC) onto the surface of Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles, which were prepared by co-precipitating method. The synthesized nanoparticles were characterized by the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) technique. Moreover, OCMCS-Fe3O4 nanoparticales blend membranes were also characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and permeation tests. Antifouling performance was studied using activated sludge as a biological suspension and measuring the pure water flux recovery ratio (FRR). The 0.1 wt. % OCMCS-Fe3O4-PES membrane revealed the highest FRR value (89%). The results exhibited that addition of OCMCS-Fe3O4 nanoparticales lead to membranes with high pure water flux compared to the unmodified PES membrane. 


Akar N., Asar B., Dizge N., Koyuncu I., Investigation of characterization and biofouling properties of PES membrane containing selenium and copper nanoparticles, Journal of Membrane Science 437 (2013) 216–226.
Barroso T., Temtem M., Casimiro T., Aguiar A., Antifouling performance of poly(acrylonitrile)-based membranes: From green synthesis to application, Journal of Supercritical Fluids 56 (2011) 312–321.
Deng B., Yang X.X., Xie L.D., Li J.Y., Hou Z.C., Yao S., Liang G.M., Sheng K.L., Huang Q., Microfiltration membranes with pH dependent property prepared from poly(methacrylicacid) grafted polyethersulfone powder, Journal of Membrane Science 330 (2009) 363–368.
Flemming H.C., Biofouling in Water Treatment, Geesey, G.G. (Eds.), Biofouling and Biocorrosion in Industrial Water Systems Springer, Hidelberg, (1991), pp. 4780.
Guo J.Y., Ye X.Y., Liu W., Wu Q., Shen H.Y., Shu K.Y., Preparation and characterization of poly(acrylonitrile-co-acrylic acid) nanofibrous composites with Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles, Material Letter 63 (2009) 1326-1328.
He T., Frank M., Mulder M.H.V., Wessling M., Preparation and characterization of nanofiltration membranes by coating polyethersulfone hollow fibers with sulfonated poly (etherether ketone) (SPEEK), Journal of Membrane Science 307 (2008) 62–72.
Huang J., Zhang K., Wang K., Xie Z., Ladewig B., Wang H., Fabrication of polyethersulfone-mesoporous silica nanocomposite ultrafiltration membranes with antifouling properties, Journal of Membrane Science 424 (2012) 362–370.
Huang R.Y.M., Moon G.Y., Pal R., Chitosan/anionic surfactant complex membranes for the pervaporation of methanol/MTBE and characterization of the polymer/surfactant system, Journal of Membrane Science 184 (2001) 1–15.
Iida H., Takayanagi K., Nakanishi T., Osaka T., Synthesis of Fe3O4 nanoparticles with various sizes and magnetic properties by controlled hydrolysis, Journal of Colloid Interface Science 314 (2007) 274-280.
Judd S., The status of membrane bioreactor technology, Trends Biotechnology 26 (2008) 109 – 116.
Kraume M., Drews A., Membrane bioreactors in wastewater treatment-status and trends, Chemical Engineering Technology 33 (2010) 1251–1259.
Kumar R., Isloor A.M., Ismail A.F., Rashid S.A., Ahmed A. Al, Permeation, antifouling and desalination performance of TiO2 nanotube incorporated PSf/CS blend membranes, Desalination 316 (2013) 76–84.
Le-Clech P., Membrane bioreactors and their uses in wastewater treatments, Applied Microbiological Biotechnology 88 (2010) 1253–1260.
Lee J., Chae H.-R., Won Y.J., Lee K., Lee C.-H., Lee H.H., Kim I.-C., Lee J.-m., Graphene oxide nanoplatelets composite membrane with hydrophilic and antifouling properties for wastewater treatment, Journal of Membrane Science 448 (2013) 223–230.
Liu C.X., Zhang D.R., He Y., Zhao X.S., Bai R., Modification of membrane surface for anti-biofouling performance: effect of anti-adhesion and anti-bacteria approaches, Journal of Membrane Science 346 (2010) 121–130.

Mansourpanah Y., Soltani H., Alizadeh K., Tabatabaei M., Enhancing the performance and antifouling properties of nanoporous PES membranes using microwave-assisted grafting of chitosan, Desalination 322 (2013) 60–68.
Marchese J., Ponce M., Ochoa N.A., Pradanos P., Palacio L., Hernandez A., Fouling behavior of polyethersulfone UF membranes made with different PVP, Journal of Membrane Science 211 (2003) 1–11.
Ng L.Y., Mohammad A.W., Leo C.P., Hilal N., Polymeric membranes incorporated with metal/metal oxide nanoparticles: A comprehensive review, Desalination 308 (2013) 15–33.
Rana D., Matsuura V, Surface modifications for antifouling membranes, Chemical Review 110 (2010) 2448–2471.
Shi Q., Su Y., Chen W., Peng J., Nie L., Zhang L., Jiang Z., Grafting short-chain amino acids onto membrane surfaces to resist protein fouling, Journal of Membrane Science 366 (2011) 398-404.
Teli S.B., Molina S., Calvo E.G., Lozano A.E., Abajo, Preparation, characterization and antifouling property of polyethersulfone–PANI/PMA ultrafiltration membranes, Desalination 299 (2012) 113–122.
Trang Mai T.T., Ha P.T., Pham H.N., Huong Le T.T., Pham H.L., HoaPhan T.B., Tran D.L. Nguyen X.P., Chitosan and O-carboxymethyl chitosan modified Fe3O4 for hyperthermic treatment, Advance in Natural Scieince: Nanoscience and Nanotechnolgy 3 (2012) 1-5.
Vatanpour V., Madaeni S.S., Moradian R., Zinadini S., Astinchap B., Novel antibifoulingnano filtration polyether sulf one membrane fabricated from embedding TiO2 coated multiwalled carbon nanotubes, Separation and Purification Technology 90 (2012) 69–82.
Vatanpour V., Madaeni S.S., Moradian R., Zinadini S., Astinchap B., Fabrication and characterization of novel antifouling nanofiltration membrane prepared from oxidized multiwalled carbon nanotube/polyethersulfonenanocomposite, Journal of Membrane Science 375 (2011) 284–294.
Vatanpour V., Madaeni S.S., Rajabi L., Zinadini S., Derakhshan A.A., Boehmite nanoparticles as a newnanofiller for preparation of antifouling mixed matrix membranes, Journal of Membrane Science 401-402 (2012) 132–143.
Vatanpour V., Madaeni S.S., Moradian R., Zinadini S., Astinchap B., Novel antibifoulingnanofiltrationpolyethersulfone membrane fabricated from embedding TiO2 coated multiwalled carbon nanotubes, Separation Purification Technology 90 (2012) 69–82.
Xu v, Shen H., Xu J.R., Li X.J., Aqueous-based magnetite magnetic fluids stabilized by surface small micelles of oleolysarcosine, Applied Surface Science 221(2004) 430-436.
Yi Z., Zhu L.P., Xu Y.Y., Zhao Y.F., Ma X.T., Zhu B.K., Polysulfone-based amphiphilic polymer for hydrophilicity and fouling-resistant modification of polyethersulfone membranes, Journal of Membrane Science 365 (2010) 25–33.
Yu H., Zhang X., Zhang Y., Liu J., Zhang H., Development of a hydrophilic PES ultrafiltration membrane containing SiO2@N-Halamine nanoparticles with both organic antifouling and antibacterial properties, Desalination 326 (2013) 69–76.
Yune P.S., Kilduff J.E., Belfort G., Fouling-resistant properties of a surface-modified poly (ether sulfone) ultrafiltration membrane grafted with poly (ethylene glycol)-amide binary monomers, Journal of Membrane Science 377 (2011) 159–166.
Zinadini S., Zinatizadeh A.A., Rahimi M., Vatanpour V., Zangeneh H., Preparation of a novel antifouling mixed matrix PES membrane by embedding graphene oxide nanoplates, Journal of Membrane Science 453 (2014) 292–301.