(Paper) Elemental composition of membrane foulant layers using EDS, XPS, and RBS

Alex Gorzalski’s paper entitled “Elemental composition of membrane foulant layers using EDS, XPS, and RBS” is published in the Journal of Membrane Science.  We used EDS, XPS, and RBS to characterize the foulant layers of nanofiltration membranes. We studied two different types of membranes fouled by two different water sources in two different stages of a groundwater nanofiltration plant. Results showed that use of a single characterization technique may lead to incorrect conclusions about the membrane or foulant layer composition, and that the characterization technique should be chosen on the basis of the research question. In general, EDS was able to detect only major foulants, while XPS and RBS were able to detect both major and trace foulants. Additionally, (SEM-)EDS was well suited for characterizing areal heterogeneity and surface features of interest, and RBS was uniquely suited to depth profile elemental composition of depth heterogeneous samples. This paper can be accessed at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2016.08.055 (Journal of Membrane Science. 2017, 522, 31-44).