Modifying thin-film composite forward osmosis membranes using various SiO2 nanoparticles for aquaculture wastewater recovery

Truc-Quynh Nguyen, Kuo-Lun Tung, Yi-Li Lin (Corresponding Author), Cheng-Di Dong, Chiu-Wen Chen, Chung-Hsin Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the fabrication, modification, and evaluation of the performance of thin-film composite (TFC) forward osmosis (FO) membranes for lab-scale aquaculture wastewater recovery using various fumed silica (SiO2) nanoparticles. The active polyamide (PA) layers of these membranes were novelly modified using different types of pretreated SiO2 nanoparticles [virgin SiO2, dried SiO2, and 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES)-modified SiO2] and concentrations (0.05, 0,1, 0,2, and 0.4 wt%) to improve the membrane hydrophilicity with minimum particle agglomeration. Results show that the APTES-SiO2 modified membrane had the highest water flux and selectivity, followed by the dried-SiO2 modified membrane. The APTES coupling agent notably reduced the SiO2 aggregation on the membrane surface and improved membrane hydrophilicity. Consequently, high permeate flux and an acceptable reverse solute flux were observed. The optimal SiO2 concentration for PA modification was 0.1 wt% for all the nanoparticle types. The virgin and APTES-SiO2 modified membranes were used for aquaculture wastewater recovery. The water recovery rate reached 47% in 84 h when using the APTES-SiO2 modified membrane, while it reached only 26% in 108 h when using the virgin membrane. With a suitable design of the filtration apparatus and choice of draw solution (DS), the prepared novel TFC-FO membrane containing APTES-modified SiO2 can be used for recycling aquaculture wastewater into the DS, which can then be reused for other purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number130796
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Forward osmosis (FO)
  • Polyamide (PA) modification
  • Silica nanoparticles
  • Thin-film composite (TFC) membrane
  • Water recovery


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