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(538f) Fabrication of Polyphenylenesulfone (PPSU) and Sulfonated Polyphenylenesulfone (sPPSU) Membranes for Water Treatment and Reuse

Authors: 
Feng, Y., National University of Singapore
Han, G., National University of Singapore
Zhang, L., Soochow University
Chen, S., National University of Singapore
Chung, T. S., National University of Singapore
Weber, M., BASF
Staudt, C., BASF SE
Maletzko, C., BASF SE
Polymeric membranes fabricated via non-solvent induced phase inversion method have been employed for various water treatment applications including ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), forward osmosis (FO) and reverse osmosis (RO). Polyphenylenesulfone (PPSU) is one of the most widely used materials due to its good chemical resistance, hydrolysis stability and great mechanical strength. Sulfonation of PPSU could further improve the hydrophilicity of the fabricated membranes and therefore enhance their water permeability and anti-fouling performance. In this study, membranes were fabricated with PPSU and sulfonated PPSU (sPPSU) polymers with various degrees of sulfonation. The rheological properties and phase separation behavior of PPSU and sPPSU were investigated. These characteristics of dope solutions greatly influence the morphology and separation performance of the fabricated membranes. sPPSU polymers exhibit enhanced rheological properties compared to PPSU. In addition, the sPPSU polymers show greater non-solvent (i.e., water) tolerance and delayed demixing during phase separation. For the flat-sheet membranes cast by the non-solvent induced phase separation method, sPPSU membranes possess higher water permeability and hydrophilicity than PPSU membranes. This fundamental study may contribute to the design strategies of preparing hydrophilic membranes from sulfonated polymers for water treatment applications.