In situ modification of ultrafiltration membranes with eco-friendly pyrogallol/taurine to enhance antifouling performance

Dal Yong Kim, Mina Kim, Sungkwon Jeon, Jaesung Lee, Hosik Park, You In Park, Sung Joon Park, Jung Hyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Fouling is a long-standing problem in water treatment membranes because it substantially deteriorates process efficiency. Here, we present a facile strategy for the in situ modification of polyethersulfone (PES) ultrafiltration (UF) membranes with eco-friendly antifouling materials (i.e., pyrogallol and taurine) to enhance their fouling resistance. When the PES dope solution was immersed into the nonsolvent containing pyrogallol and taurine, the phase separation and surface modification of the PES phase occurred simultaneously. Surface modification with taurine was mediated by pyrogallol, which reacted with taurine to form pyrogallol–taurine complexes. Amphiphilic pyrogallol–taurine complexes were effectively bound to the phase-transitioning PES, resulting in their uniform, dense, and robust deposition throughout the external and internal pore surfaces of the membrane without changing its pore structure. Consequently, the in situ-modified PES membrane exhibited remarkably higher surface hydrophilicity and a more negative charge than pristine PES. Importantly, the proposed in situ modification strategy significantly improved the protein anti-adhesive and antifouling properties of the pristine membrane and enhanced its permeance performance, which cannot be achieved by ex situ modification. Our study provides a facile antifouling strategy that can be applied to various membranes for water purification and desalination and extensively describes the underlying modification mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122114
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Antifouling
  • In situ modification
  • Pyrogallol
  • Taurine
  • Ultrafiltration membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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