In this work, the surface characteristics of poly(N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone) (PNVP)-modified nonwoven fabric (NWF) membranes and the effects of the surface characteristics on the membranes antifouling properties were investigated. Effects of grafting time, grafting temperature, and monomer concentration on the grafting degree of PNVP were systematically investigated. The effect of grafting degree on the surface characteristics was also investigated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterize the structural and morphological changes on the membrane surface. The water contact angles decreased from 113 ±1.2° to 52 ±3°, which means that the hydrophilicity of the modified NWF was enhanced with increasing PNVP grafting degree. The surface free energy was calculated, which showed an increase after modification. Static bovine serum albumin (BSA) adsorption experiments were carried out, which showed a decrease of 82.5%. Permeation experiments of water and supernatant solution of active sludge were carried out to determine the antifouling characteristics against the extracellular polymeric substance. Results demonstrated that the modified NWF had higher permeation fluxes and lower flux loss in comparison with the original NWF. Bacterial adhesion on the membrane surface was largely suppressed after the introduction of PNVP. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
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