Development of Ti2AlN MAX phase/cellulose acetate nanocomposite membrane for removal of dye, protein and lead ions
To our knowledge, this study was carried out because there is no other study using Ti2AlN MAX phase material as an inorganic additive to improve the performance of the cellulose acetate (CA) membrane. In this research, the effect of titanium aluminum nitride (Ti2AlN) MAX phase on the performance of CA polymeric membrane was investigated. In the first step, the Ti2AlN MAX phase was synthesized via the reactive sintering method and characterized. The Successful synthesis of the MAX phase with high purity in the hexagonal crystalline structure was confirmed with the XRD pattern. The prepared MAX phase was used as a hydrophilic inorganic additive to improve the performance of the CA membrane. An improvement in hydrophilicity of the CA membranes was observed by incorporating the MAX phase into the matrix of membranes. The nanocomposite membrane containing optimum content of MAX phase (0.75 wt%) showed a threefold increase in permeability during filtration of pure water and dye solutions. In addition, the optimum nanocomposite membrane exhibited an improved flux recovery ratio of 92.7 % with a high removal efficiency of 70.7 % for reactive black 5, 93.5 % for reactive red 120, and >98 % for bovine serum albumin. Finally, the rejection of different salts was investigated, and the optimum nanocomposite showed high rejection for lead ions (97 %) with moderate rejection for Na2SO4 (>55 %) and NaCl (>30 %). The results of this research demonstrated the high potential of MAX phase-based materials for improving polymeric membranes.