A series of nanofiltration membranes were prepared by interfacial polymerization of piperazine and terephthaloyl chloride on the surface of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) ultrafiltration membranes. ZnO nanoparticles were incorporated in the active separation layer to modify the performances of the membranes. The preparation conditions as the monomer concentration, dosage of nano-ZnO particles and the reaction time on removal of a simulated radioactive nuclide Co (II) were investigated.

Fourier transform infrared in attenuated total reflection mode verified the formation of polyamide on the PAN ultrafiltration membrane. The scanning electron microscope images showed that the nano-ZnO particles can homogeneously fixed on the membrane surface. The retention of Co (II) increased with increasing the dosage of nano-ZnO in the range of 0∼0.03 g. Further adding more nano-ZnO, the rejection rate of Co (II) first decreased and then increased. The concentration of piperazine and terephthaloyl chloride showed similar effect on removal of Co (II) ion. 5 minutes polymerization time was sufficient to form an active separation layer on the substrate membrane which changed the separation mechanism from ultrafiltration to nanofiltration. The separation performance of NF3 prepared by the following conditions was optimum: 0.03g nano-ZnO, 0.6 wt% piperazine, 0.5 wt% terephthaloyl chloride, and the reaction time was 15 min. The rejection rates of 1000 mg/L Na2SO4 and Co2+ in CoCl2 solution were 90% and 75% respectively. The Co (II) removal rate can be increased to nearly 90% by using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium salt. Increasing the operation pressure or the feeding concentration of Co (II) can also improve the performances of the membranes in this experiment.

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