Hydrophilic polyvinyl alcohol coating on hydrophobic electrospun nanofiber membrane for high performance thin film composite forward osmosis membrane

Myoung Jun Park, Ralph Rolly Gonzales, Ahmed Abdel-Wahab, Sherub Phuntsho, Ho Kyong Shon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the hydrophilic property of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was utilized to improve the hydrophilicity and mechanical strength of electrospun polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)-supported thin film composite (TFC) forward osmosis (FO) membranes. The PVDF nanofiber support was modified with PVA via dip coating and acid-catalyzed crosslinking with glutaraldehyde prior to formation of polyamide active layer on the support via interfacial polymerization. The influence of PVA modification on the morphology and physical properties of PVDF support was evaluated through several characterization techniques while the flux performance was assessed using lab-scale FO membrane unit. The fabricated PVA-modified TFC FO membranes exhibited high hydrophilicity, porosity, and mechanical strength. FO performance tests reveal excellent flux performance (34.2 LMH using 1 M NaCl and DI water as draw and feed solution, respectively) and low structural parameters (154 μm) of the PVA-modified TFC FO membrane. Dip coating of the nanofiber support in PVA is therefore a simple and effective method for the improvement of PVDF support hydrophilicity to fabricate high performance TFC FO membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes



  • Electrospinning
  • Forward osmosis
  • Nanofiber membrane
  • Polyvinyl alcohol
  • Polyvinylidene fluoride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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