Fabrication of Ti2SnC-MAX Phase Blended PES Membranes with Improved Hydrophilicity and Antifouling Properties for Oil/Water Separation
In this research work, the Ti 2 SnC MAX phase (MP) was synthesized via the reactive sintering procedure. The layered and crystalline structure of this MP was verified by SEM, HRTEM, and XRD analyses. This nano-additive was used for improvement of different features of the polyethersulfone (PES) polymeric membranes. The blended membranes containing diverse quantities of the MP (0–1 wt%) were fabricated by a non-solvent-induced phase inversion method. The asymmetric structure of the membranes with small holes in the top layer and coarse finger-like holes and macro-voids in the sublayer was observed by applying SEM analysis. The improvement of the membrane’s hydrophilicity was verified via reducing the contact angle of the membranes from 63.38 to 49.77 (for bare and optimum membranes, respectively). Additionally, in the presence of 0.5 wt% MP, the pure water flux increased from 286 h to 355 L/m 2 h. The average roughness of this membrane increased in comparison with the bare membrane, which shows the increase in the filtration-available area. The high separation efficiency of the oil/water emulsion (80%) with an improved flux recovery ratio of 65% was illustrated by the optimum blended membrane.