In recent years, polysulfone-based nanocomposite membranes have been widely used for contaminated water treatment because they comprise properties such as high thermal stability and chemical resistance. In this study, a polysulfone (PSf) nanocomposite membrane was fabricated using the wet-phase inversion method with the fusion of graphene oxide (GO) and alumina (Al2O3) nanoparticles. We also showed that GO-Al2O3 nanoparticles were synthesised successfully by using a one-pot hydrothermal method. The nanocomposite membranes were characterised by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and water contact angle. The loading of GO and Al2O3 was investigated to improve the hydrophilic and oil rejection of the matrix membrane. It was shown that using 1.5 wt.% GO-Al2O3 loaded in polysulfone, ~74% volume of oil was separated from the oil/water emulsion at 0.87 bar and 30 min. This figure was higher than the process using the unmodified membrane (PSf/GO) at the same conditions, in which only ~60% volume of oil was separated. The pH, oil/water emulsion concentration, separation time and irreversible fouling coefficient (FRw) were also investigated. The obtained results suggested that the GO-Al2O3 nanoparticles loaded in the polysulfone membrane might have potential use in oily wastewater treatment applications.
- graphene oxide