We report on the fabrication of AqpZ immobilized flat sheet membranes. The effects of interfacial polymerization conditions as well as proteoliposome concentration were evaluated. Commercial AqpZ were used as positive control for cloned AqpZ. Specific permeate flux of membranes at higher proteoliposome concentrations increased up to 25 times higher than thin film composite membranes; however; MgSO4 rejection is lowered almost to 1.5%. FTIR and SEM confirm immobilization of proteoliposomes. Thermal analysis showed that increasing proteoliposome concentration has no positive effect on the incorporation of proteoliposomes into polyamide structures. On the contrary, at lower proteoliposome concentrations, incorporation of proteoliposomes was found better. When combined membrane performances were compared in terms of specific permeate flux; MgSO4 and humic rejection and flux recovery after humic acid filtration, the performance of cloned AqpZ incorporated membranes (having 0.1 mg/mL proteoliposome concentration and polyamide formed with 2 min piperazine reaction time) improved 1.7 times regarding TFC membranes. According to the results, increasing proteoliposome concentration did not improve nanofiltration membrane performance. On the contrary, lower proteoliposome concentrations were found to be more effective in increasing membrane performance.
Keywords: Aquaporin Z; flat sheet membrane; interfacial polymerization; nanofiltration; proteoliposome concentration.