Nur Hashimah Alias, Juhana Jaafar, Sadaki Samitsu, T Matsuura, AF Ismail, MHD Othman, Mukhlis A Rahman, Nur Hidayati Othman, Norfazliana Abdullah, Syafikah Huda Paiman, N Yusof, F Aziz
Cost-effective purification technology of oilfield produced water (OPW) is becoming a global challenge for future petroleum exploration and production industry. Energy-efficient operation of membrane separation is potentially promising. However, severe fouling problem of oil droplets demands new robust and fouling-resistant membranes with high permeability and rejection efficiency. Here, we propose a photocatalytic nanofiber-coated inorganic hollow fiber membrane suitable for OPW treatment. The membrane was fabricated by coating polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofiber incorporated with graphitic carbon nitride (GCN) photocatalyst on an alumina (Al2O3) hollow fiber membrane. While the highly porous coating made of smooth hydrophilic nanofibers facilitated water permeation, the coating effectively captured oil droplets in its opening, resulting in a better rejection efficiency of oil contaminants.