460548 Water and Salt Transport in Polymer Membranes Prepared By Solvent-Free Melt Processing
Robust, ion-exchange membranes based on sulfonated polymers were prepared by solvent-free melt processing, providing the first example of melt-processed membranes for applications in desalination. To investigate the polymer physics underlying the effects of processing history on these systems, transport of small molecules and ions has been investigated.
Interestingly, melt processed membranes (sulfonated polysulfone, BPS) prepared by different routes (i.e., plasticizer composition, processing temperature, and post-processing treatment) show different water and salt transport properties, compared to solution processed membranes. To understand the origin of this difference, 1H NMR analysis and FT-IR analysis were conducted, but no chemical change was detected. Rather, differences in mass transport behavior result from processing methods having a significant effect on the polymer structures. These results imply that, in addition to varying the chemical structure of the polymer, varying processing methods also provides extra freedom to modify polymer properties.
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