Wetting control of Multiscale-Layer Membranes for Membrane Distillation
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Membranes used in membrane distillation still suffer from the lack of hydrophobicity robustness when treating low surface tension solutions. In this work, the multiscale-layer superhydrophobic membrane is prepared by casting polyvinylidene fluoride solution on hydrophilic-hydrophobic non-woven supports using dry-wet phase inversion technique to modulate membrane wettability toward extremes. The membrane surface chemistry at the microscopic level is altered through self-assembly of a monolayer organosilane while the surface geometrical structure is modified by coating SiO2/TiO2 nanoparticles. Direct contact membrane distillation experiments show that the persistence high salt rejection in the presence of a wetting agent is achieved while similar flux to other MD membranes is attainable.