Interlayered Forward Osmosis Membranes with Ti3C2TxMXene and Carbon Nanotubes for Enhanced Municipal Wastewater Concentration

Peng Fei Sun, Zhe Yang, Xiaoxiao Song, Jeong Hoon Lee, Chuyang Y. Tang, Hee Deung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Forward osmosis (FO) hybrid systems have the potential to simultaneously recover nutrients and water from wastewater. However, the lack of membranes with high permeability and selectivity has limited the development and scale-up of these hybrid systems. In this study, we fabricated a novel thin-film nanocomposite membrane featuring an interlayer of Ti3C2TxMXene intercalated with carbon nanotubes (M/C-TFNi). Owing to the enhanced confinement effect on interfacial degassing and increased amine monomer sorption by the interlayer, the resulting M/C-TFNi FO membrane has a greater degree of cross-linking and roughness. In comparison with the thin-film composite (TFC) membrane without an interlayered structure, the M/C-TFNi membrane attained a water flux that was four times higher and a lower specific salt flux. Notably, the M/C-TFNi membrane exhibited excellent concentration efficiency for real municipal wastewater and enhanced rejection of ammonia nitrogen, which breaks the permeability-selectivity upper bound. This study provides a new avenue for the rational design and development of high-performance FO membranes for environmental applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13219-13230
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 5

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society


  • Ti3C2 MXene
  • carbon nanotube
  • forward osmosis
  • interlayer
  • internal concentration polarization (ICP)
  • structural parameter
  • thin-film nanocomposite membrane (TFN)
  • wastewater concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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