Fabrication and characterization of functionally graded poly(vinylidine fluoride)-silver nanocomposite hollow fibers for sustainable water recovery

Lijo Francis, Noreddine Ghaffour, Gary Amy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Poly(vinylidine fluoride) (PVDF) asymmetric hydrophobic hollow fibers were fabricated successfully using dryjet wet spinning. Hydrophobic silver nanoparticles were synthesized and impregnated into the PVDF polymer matrix and functionally graded PVDF-silver nanocomposite hollow fibers are fabricated and tested in the direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) process. The as-synthesized silver nanoparticles were characterized for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), particle size distribution (PSD) and Ultra Violet (UV) visible spectroscopy. Both the PVDF and PVDF-silver nanocomposite asymmetric hollow fibers were characterized for their morphology, water contact angle and mechanical strength. Addition of hydrophobic silver nanoparticles was found to enhance the hydrophobicity and ~ 2.5 fold increase the mechanical strength of the hollow fibers. A water vapor flux of 31.9kg m-2 h-1 was observed at a feed inlet temperature of 80 °C and at a permeate temperature of 20 °C in the case of hollow fiber membrane modules fabricated using PVDF hollow fibers; the water vapor flux was found to be increased by about 8% and to reach 34.6kg m-2 h-1 for the hollow fiber membrane modules fabricated from the PVDF-silver nanocomposite hollow fibers at the same operating conditions with 99.99% salt rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2659-2665
Number of pages7
JournalScience of Advanced Materials
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Hollow fiber membranes
  • Mechanical strength
  • Membrane distillation
  • Permeation flux
  • Silver nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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