Effect of adding Arabic Gum and Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles to MBR Membranes Supported by Carbon Nanotubes for Ultrafiltration Process of Dairy Wastewater

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Ministry of Science and Technology, Environment and Water Directorate, Baghdad- Iraq

2 Communications Engineering Department, University of Technology/ Baghdad-Iraq


There is great competition to improve the performance of membranes for water treatment within the scope of the research, especially the problem of biofouling on the membrane as it is related to the performance and life of the membrane. This study introduces a new mixture of hybrid bioreactor membranes that combine oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (OMWCNTs) with polyethersulfone (PES) using a phase inversion method, along with equal proportions of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) and Arabic gum (AG) from an acacia tree, for application in a submerged membrane bioreactor to treat wastewater for a dairy product at the College of Agriculture / Baghdad University. The results when comparing the nascent composite membranes (PES / OMWCNTs / ZnO / AG) with that of (PES / OMWCNTs) indicated that the membrane mixed with ZnO / AG has more hydrophilic (16%) As well as reducing the negative charge on the surface of the membrane almost three times, As evidenced by the water contact angle test and the zeta potential data respectively, furthermore, the atomic force microscopy analysis showed that this improved membrane showed lower values of surface roughness (by 46.8%), and more flexible normal flux values (by almost doubling), Moreover, the rate of rejection increased when the bovine serum albumin (BSA) solution was passed a percentage (13%) when compared with PES / MWCNTs membrane. Importantly, the prepared membrane also presented removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand (COD) was significantly 37.5% higher when compared with the commercial MBR system.


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