Synthesis of Graphene Oxide-Polyacrylic Acid Coated Reverse Osmosis Membranes



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Reverse osmosis (RO) treatment is a practical option for alleviating potable water scarcity. RO is efficient compared to other technologies, and infrastructure is already in place with the opportunity to modify membranes with few complications. One issue plaguing RO is fouling: microbial and mineral, but antifoulants can reduce both types. The respective antifoulants and processes interact, which necessitates further research to understand the processes in relation to each other and to increase RO efficiency. Two syntheses were investigated to attach graphene oxide (GO) to the membrane. Synthesis One used amination with EDC and NHS, and Synthesis Two used polydopamine (PDA). Synthesis One failed to attach GO to the membrane concluded primarily from FTIR spectroscopy. Synthesis Two was successful based on FTIR and Raman spectroscopy and permeability testing. After Synthesis Two's completion, polyacrylic acid (PAA) was attached to GO through UV light-induced polymerization. Permeability results indicated that the PDA-GO-PAA procedure was a promising synthesis.