Synthesis of self-assembled graphene oxide (GO)/manganese oxide (MnO2) sulfonated-polyethersulfone (SPES) membranes for heavy metal removal from wastewater
As the 21st century continues, water scarcity remains a significant burden to overcome in many regions. The treatment of industrial wastewater has great potential in providing adequate quantities of freshwater. To ensure safe usage of this water, heavy metal ions must be removed to avoid their toxic impacts on the various water users. For this, graphene oxide (GO)/manganese oxide (MnO2) nanocomposite was prepared and incorporated with sulfonated-polyethersulfone (SPES) membranes. The nanocomposite and membranes were characterized using SEM, EDS, FT-IR, among others and their potential in metal ion removal/adsorption was evaluated using dead-end ultrafiltration (UF) setup. The results showed an increase in the water flux from 59.5 L/m2 h in the pristine SPES membrane to 129.7 L/m2 h in the SPGM4 (i.e., 4 wt.% GO/MnO2) membrane. In addition, the highest Cu2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+ removal of 81.13, 67.41, and 64.00% (pH≈6), respectively, was achieved using the SPGM4 membrane. These composite membranes have the potential to be utilized in practical wastewater treatment applications.