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Kumar S Mural P.,Indian Institute of Science | Sharma M.,Indian Institute of Science | Shukla A.,Steer Engineering Pvt. Ltd | Bhadra S.,Steer Engineering Pvt. Ltd | And 3 more authors.
RSC Advances | Year: 2015

In this work, porous membranes were designed by selectively etching the PEO phase, by water, from a melt-mixed PE/PEO blend. The pure water flux and the resistance across the membrane were systematically evaluated by employing an indigenously developed cross flow membrane setup. Both the phase morphology and the cross sectional morphology of the membranes was assessed by scanning electron microscopy and an attempt was made to correlate the observed morphology with the membrane performance. In order to design antibacterial membranes for water purification, partially reduced graphene oxide (rGO), silver nanoparticles (Ag) and silver nanoparticles decorated with rGO (rGO-Ag) were synthesized and incorporated directly into the blends during melt mixing. The loss of viability of bacterial cells was determined by the colony counting method using E. coli as a model bacterium. SEM images display that the direct contact with the rGO-Ag nanoparticles disrupts the cell membrane. In addition, the rGO-Ag nanoparticles exhibited a synergistic effect with respect to bacterial cell viability in comparison to both rGO and Ag nanoparticles. The possible mechanism associated with the antibacterial activity in the membranes was discussed. This study opens new avenues in designing antibacterial membranes for water purification. © 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Mural P.K.S.,Indian Institute of Science | Banerjee A.,Indian Institute of Science | Rana M.S.,Indian Institute of Science | Shukla A.,Steer Engineering Pvt. Ltd | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Materials Chemistry A | Year: 2014

In this study, various strategies like amine terminated GO (GO-NH2), in situ formed polyethylene grafted GO (PE-g-GO) and their combinations with maleated PE (maleic anhydride grafted PE) were adopted to reactively compatibilize blends of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polyethylene oxide (PEO). These blends were further explored to design porous, antibacterial membranes for separation technology and the flux and the resistance across the membranes were studied systematically. It was observed that GO-NH2 led to uniform dispersion of PEO in a PE matrix and further resulted in a significant improvement in the mechanical properties of the blends when combined with maleated PE. The efficiency of various compatibilizers was further studied by monitoring the evolution of morphology as a function of the annealing time. It was observed that besides rendering uniform dispersion of PEO in PE and improving the mechanical properties, GO-NH2 further suppresses the coalescence in the blends. As the melt viscosities of the phases differ significantly, there is a gradient in the morphology as also manifested from scanning acoustic microscopy. Hence, the membranes were designed by systematically reducing the thickness of the as-pressed samples to expose the core as the active area for flux calculations. Selected membranes were also tested for their antibacterial properties by inoculating E. coli culture with the membranes and imaging at different time scales. This study opens new avenues to develop PE based cost effective anti-microbial membranes for water purification. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014. Source

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