Ptfema-r-PMAA Functionalized Membranes for Metal and Dye Separations

Functionalized polymer membranes have exciting potential applications in chemically selective membranes. Here we explore the usage of a poly(methacrylic acid)-polytetrafluoroethylene random copolymer (PMAA-r-PTFEMA) as a charge-selective layer and for metal ion capture. PMAA-r-PTFEMA self-assembles in methanol to present negatively charged carboxylic acid groups on the pore surfaces. This has been demonstrated to allow for charge-based separation of dyes of similar sizes, rejecting negatively charged dyes and allowing positively charged dyes to pass. The carboxylic acid groups have also been shown to adsorb metals in solution. The membrane’s applications in removal of heavy metal from water and their ability to regenerate is currently being studied.