Poly(lactic acid)/poly(butylene succinate) dual-layer membranes with cellulose nanowhisker for heavy metal ion separation

Lau Kia Kian, Mohammad Jawaid, Mohamed Mahmoud Nasef, Hassan Fouad, Zoheb Karim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) dual-layer membranes filled with 0–3 wt% cellulose nanowhisker (CNWs) were fabricated with aim to remove metal ions from wastewater. An integrated method was employed in the membrane fabrication process by combining water vapor-induced and crystallization-induced phase inversions. The membrane thickness was measured in between 11 and 13 μm, which did not pose significant flux deviation during filtration process. The 3% CNW filled membrane showed prominent and well-laminated two layers structure. Meanwhile, the increase in CNWs from 0 to 3% loadings could improve the membrane porosity (43–74%) but reducing pore size (2.45–0.54 μm). The heat resistance of neat membrane enhanced by 1% CNW but decreased with loadings of 2–3% CNWs due to flaming behavior of sulphated nanocellulose. Membrane with 3% CNW displayed the tensile strength (23.5 MPa), elongation at break (7.1%), and Young's modulus (0.75 GPa) as compared to other samples. For wastewater filtration performance, the continuous operation test showed that 3% CNW filled membrane exhibited the highest removal efficiency for both cobalt and nickel metal ions reaching to 83% and 84%, respectively. We concluded that CNWs filled dual-layer membranes have potential for future development in the removal of heavy metal ions from wastewater streams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-664
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellulose nanowhisker
  • Dual-layer membranes
  • Poly(butylene succinate)
  • Poly(lactic acid)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Energy


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