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Challenges exist in the wastewater treatment of dyes produced by the world’s growing textiles industry. Common problems facing traditional wastewater treatments include low retention values and breaking the chemical bonds of some dye molecules, which in some cases can release byproducts that can be more harmful than the original dye. This research illustrates that track-etched polycarbonate filtration membranes with 100-nanometer diameter holes can be functionalized with azo dye direct red 80 at 1000 µM, creating a filter that can then be used to remove the entire negatively charged azo dye molecule for a 50 µM solution of the same dye, with a rejection value of 96.4 ± 1.4%, at a stable flow rate of 114 ± 5 µL/min post-functionalization. Post-functionalization, Na+ and NO3 ions had on average 17.9%, 26.0%, and 31.1% rejection for 750, 500, and 250 µM sodium nitrate solutions, respectively, at an average flow rate of 177 ± 5 µL/min. Post-functionalization, similar 50 µM azo dyes had increases in rejection from 26.3% to 53.2%. Rejection measurements were made using ultraviolet visible-light spectroscopy for dyes, and concentration meters using ion selective electrodes for Na+ and NO3 ions.


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