Molecular insight into C-60-grafted graphene oxide as a novel reverse osmosis membrane with low energy consumption for seawater desalination

T Ranjbar and H Akbarzadeh and E Mehrjouei and M Abbaspour and S Salemi and H Yaghoubi, DESALINATION, 542, 116062 (2022).

DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2022.116062

In this study, via molecular dynamics simulations, the performance of the cross-sectional and flat pure GO and GO/C-60 membranes for seawater desalination have been investigated and compared. The simulation results demonstrate that the flat and cross-sectional pure GO membranes, despite 100 % salt rejection, due to low interlayer spacing show an additional resistance on the water permeation that exhibit low water flux even at high pressures. While, the cross-sectional GO/C-60 membrane with high interlayer spacing provides a tunnel with a high effective area for high water flux even at low pressure. Also, this membrane shows a 100 % salt rejection due to the steric effects caused by C-60 molecules. The flat GO/C-60 membrane with misalignment and offsetting slits on the layers shows an additional resistance on the water permeation which decreases the water flux compared to the cross-sectional GO/C-60 by diversion of water flow. Therefore, cross-sectional GO/C(60 )membrane with a high water flux and salt rejection at low pressure, provides a great potential for energy-efficient seawater desalination by RO process.

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