Separating oil from water allows us to reuse both fluids for various applications, leading to a more economical process. Membrane separation has been evidenced as a cost-effective process for wastewater treatment. A hollow fiber membrane made of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) is an excellent choice for separating oil from water because of its superior chemical resistance. Its low antifouling ability, however, reduces the effectiveness of its separation. Hence, in this study, we used tannic acid (TA) and FeIII complex to modify the surface of the PAN hollow fiber membrane. To improve membrane performance, different reaction times were investigated. The results demonstrate that even when the TA-FeIII covered the pores of the PAN membrane, the water flux remained constant. However, when an emulsion was fed to the feed solution, the flux increased from 50 to 66 LMH, indicating low oil adhesion on the surface of the modified membrane. When compared to the pristine membrane, the modified membrane had superior antifouling and reusability. As a result, the hydrophilic TA-FeIII complex on PAN surface improves overall membrane performance.
Keywords: hollow fiber; membrane; oil–water separation; polyacrylonitrile.