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Environ Sci Technol. 2017 Nov 7;51(21):12638-12643. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b03478. Epub 2017 Oct 19.

A One-Step Rapid Assembly of Thin Film Coating Using Green Coordination Complexes for Enhanced Removal of Trace Organic Contaminants by Membranes.

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Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong , Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Multiphase Materials Chemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering Research Center, East China University of Science and Technology , 130 Meilong Road, Shanghai 200237, P. R. China.
Polymer and Composite Division, Ningbo Institute of Material Technology & Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Ningbo 315201, P. R. China.


We report a fast, simple, and green coating method using the coordination complex of tannic acid (TA) and ferric ion (Fe3+) to enhance the removal of trace organic contaminants (TrOCs) by polyamide membranes. The entire coating process can be completed in less than 2 min; quartz crystal microbalance characterization revealed that a TA-Fe thin film formed in merely 10-20 s. Coating this TA-Fe thin film on a commercial nanofiltration membrane (NF270) reduced its effective pore size from 0.44 to 0.40 nm. The TA-Fe-coated NF270 showed significantly increased rejection of both NaCl and trace organic contaminants. In comparison with the more-time-consuming polydopamine coating (e.g., 0.5 h), the TA-Fe coating presented greater resistance to TrOC permeation (i.e., lower permeability of TrOCs). The advantages of the fast coating process, greatly improved rejection performance, and use of green accessible materials make TA-Fe a highly promising coating material for large-scale applications.

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