Preparation and Characterization of Polyethersulfone/Activated Carbon Composite Membranes for Water Filtration

Gunawan Setia Prihandana, Sayed Sulthan Maulana, Rahmat Santoso Soedirdjo, Venni Tanujaya, Desak Made Adya Pramesti, Tutik Sriani, Mohd Fadzil Jamaludin, Farazila Yusof, Muslim Mahardika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Ultrafiltration membrane technology holds promise for wastewater treatment, but its widespread application is hindered by fouling and flux reduction issues. One effective strategy for enhancing ultrafiltration membranes involves incorporating activated carbon powder. In this study, composite polyethersulfone (PES) ultrafiltration membranes were fabricated to include activated carbon powder concentrations between 0 and 1.5 wt.%, with carbon size fixed at 200 mesh. The ultrafiltration membranes were evaluated in terms of membrane morphology, hydrophilicity, pure water flux, equilibrium water content, porosity, average pore size, protein separation, and E-coli bacteria removal. It was found that the addition of activated carbon to PES membranes resulted in improvements in some key properties. By incorporating activated carbon powder, the hydrophilicity of PES membranes was enhanced, lowering the contact angle from 60° to 47.3° for composite membranes (1.0 wt.% of activated carbon) compared to the pristine PES membrane. Water flux tests showed that the 1.0 wt.% composite membrane yielded the highest flux, with an improvement of nearly double the initial value at 2 bar, without compromising bovine serum albumin rejection or bacterial removal capabilities. This study also found that the inclusion of activated carbon had a minor impact on the membrane’s porosity and equilibrium water content. Overall, these insights will be beneficial in determining the optimal concentration of activated carbon powder for PES ultrafiltration membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number906
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • activated carbon
  • clean water
  • composite membrane
  • good health
  • polyethersulfone membrane


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