Efficient PFOA removal from drinking water by a dual-functional mixed-matrix-composite nanofiltration membrane

Mohit Chaudhary, Michal Sela-Adler, Avner Ronen, Oded Nir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drinking water contamination by per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) is a global concern. Nanofiltration is a promising PFAS removal technology due to its scalability and cost-effectiveness. However, nanofiltration cannot typically reduce PFAS concentrations below current drinking water recommendations. To enhance PFAS removal, we developed mixed-matrix-composite nanofiltration (MMCNF) membranes—an active nanofiltration layer on porous adsorptive support that synergetically combines filtration and adsorption. We synthesized MMCNF membranes comprising thin polyelectrolyte multilayer films deposited on thick (~400 µm) polyethersulfone supports incorporating β-cyclodextrin microparticles. These membranes achieved near complete removal (>99.9%) of model PFAS (PFOA: perfluorooctanoic acid) for significantly longer filtration times compared to a control membrane without β-cyclodextrin, but otherwise identical. The spent MMCNF membrane was regenerated using ethanol, and high PFOA removal performance was regained during three filtration cycles. Perfluorooctanoic acid was concentrated 38-fold in the ethanol eluent. Further concentration by evaporation is straightforward and can enable eluent recycling and effective PFAS removal.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number77
Journalnpj Clean Water
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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