Modification of PVDF membrane for harvesting of Nannochloropsis sp. and its cleaning results

Taufik Qodar Romadiansyah, Badrut Tamam Ibnu Ali, Widi Citra Lestari, Marisa Permatasari, Dini Ermavitalini, Nurul Widiastuti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


One of the biggest challenges in implementing microalgae-based biofuels is the effective harvesting process. Filtration membrane has become one of the flexible methods in microalgae harvesting. This study investigated the harvesting of Nannochloropsis sp. using a modified PVDF membrane at various LiCl as an additive with N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) solvent. Harvesting of Nannochloropsis sp. with PVDF membrane has never been reported before. The addition of LiCl can improve the performance of PVDF membrane due to LiCl has a great affinity for water, resulted in inducing the formation of the pore structure of membrane. The optimum membrane composition was determined at various LiCl additive from 1% to 3% (w/w). The hydrophilicity of the membrane increased as indicated by the increasing of water permeance, which were 516, 546, 660, and 614 l m−2h−1 bar−1 for neat PVDF, PVDF/LiCl-1, PVDF/LiCl-2, and PVDF/LiCl-3 membrane, respectively. PVDF/LiCl-2 membrane showed the highest water permeance and the highest total average permeance (150 l m−2h−1 bar−1) with 100% rejection of Nannochloropsis sp. harvesting. The membranes was cleaned using sodium hypochlorite, citric acid, and nitric acid. The SEM results showed that the membrane after cleaning appears the algae particles in the membrane pore. Furthermore, algae particles were almost not visible on cleaned membrane. The FTIR results showed an absorption at 3401 cm−1, which was a characteristic of the hydrogen N-H bond, also including a typical amide uptake (C=O) at 1648 cm−1 indicating protein appearance. Moreover, the cleaned membrane did not appear any absorption that indicates the foulant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075505
JournalMaterials Research Express
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • LiCl as additive
  • Nannochloropsis sp.
  • PVDF/LiCl membrane
  • harvesting
  • membrane cleaning


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