Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Miao Yu


Oil/water separation plays an important role in industrial wastewater treatment and environment protection. For the treatment of oily wastewater, especially for removing oil droplets with sizes in the micrometer range, ultrafiltration (UF) membrane technology is considered the most efficient method due to its high separation efficiency and relatively simple operational process. However, caused by the deposition of the oil droplets onto the membrane surface and into the membrane pores, the fouling of UF membranes shortens their service time and degrades their separation performance in practical applications.

In this work, graphene oxide (GO) was utilized as a novel coating material to modify PVDF membranes, by a similar vacuum filtration method for antifouling oil/water separation. PVDF membranes with ultrathin GO coatings showed improved hydrophilicity and under water oleophobicity and thus minimized underwater oil adhesion on the membrane surface. And the oil/water separation results showed that by optimization of the GO coating thickness, greatly improved antifouling performance could be achieved. As a result, the separation flux with GO coatings was at least doubled, compared with PVDF membrane itself. The novel GO functional coatings with optimized thickness may have great potential for antifouling oil/water separation.