Electrically conductive membranes based on carbon nanostructures for self-cleaning of biofouling

Boor Singh Lalia, Farah Ejaz Ahmed, Tushar Shah, Nidal Hilal, Raed Hashaikeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although membranes are widely employed in separation processes, their performance can be severely deterred by fouling due to organic, inorganic and biological foulants. Periodic electrolysis is a fast and simple technique for membrane cleaning, but requires membranes with high electric conductivities. In this work, novel electrically conductive CNS/PVDF membranes were fabricated via vacuum filtration, followed by heat treatment above the melting point of PVDF, such that PVDF acts as a binder inside the CNS structure, resulting in better mechanical properties and greater wettability. Membranes that were subjected to periodic electrolysis were able to sustain higher flux through multiple filtration cycles of yeast suspensions as compared to those without electrolysis, indicating the efficiency of this technique using electrically conductive CNS/PVDF membranes. Electrolysis led to the formation of micro-bubbles on the membrane surface, which removed foulants. These self-cleaning membranes can be used to mitigate the effects of fouling in different types of separation processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Mar 6 2015


  • Carbon nanostructure membrane
  • Electrolysis
  • Fouling
  • PVDF binder
  • Self-cleaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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