A carbon nanotube (CNT) integrated polymer composite membrane with a polyvinyl alcohol barrier layer has been prepared to separate oil from water for treatment of oil-containing waste water. The CNTs were synthesised using chemical vapour deposition, and a phase inversion method was employed for the blending of the CNTs in the polymer composite solution for casting of the membrane. Relative to the baseline polymer, an increase of 119% in the tensile strength, 77% in the Young’s modulus and 258% in the toughness is seen for a concentration of 7.5% CNTs in the polymer composite. The permeate through the membrane shows oil concentrations below the acceptable 10 mg/L limit with an excellent throughput and oil rejection of over 95%.


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