PES/Quaternized-PES Blend Anion Exchange Membranes: Investigation of Polymer Compatibility and Properties of the Blend

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit, University of South Africa

2 Faculty of Bioscience Engineering


Polyethersulfone (PES)-based anion exchange blend membranes were prepared from quaternized-PES (Q-PES) and N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) casting solutions with water as coagulant via non-solvent induced phase inversion. The compatibility of the blend system was investigated through thermodynamic studies while membrane formation was determined using the cloud point technique. The properties of the membranes were investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM), contact angle measurements and SurPASS Electrokinetic analysis. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) and the swelling of the membranes were also investigated. The PES/Q-PES blend system was compatible at the mass ratio of 0.70:0.30, thus leading to delay in demixing of the solvent and non-solvent during phase inversion. Below 0.70:0.30 mass ratio, the blend system is incompatible, leading to instantaneous demixing of the solvent and non-solvent during the phase inversion process. The roughness and surface charge density increased with the increasing addition of Q-PES while the total surface energy decreased. The IEC increased with the addition of Q-PES while the swelling decreased. Therefore, a suitable compatibility of PES:Q-PES at a mass ratio of 0.70:0.30 and below is the prerequisite for an eff ective blend system. The conductivity and electrical resistance of the blend membranes were enhanced by the addition of Q-PES additive, while the tensile strength was compromised.

Graphical Abstract

PES/Quaternized-PES Blend Anion Exchange Membranes: Investigation of Polymer Compatibility and Properties of the Blend


Main Subjects

[1] M. Irfan, E. Bakangura, N.U. Afsar, M.M. Hossain, J. Ran, T. Xu, Preparation and performance evaluation of novel alkaline stable anion exchange membranes, J. Power Sources, 355 (2017) 171–180.
[2] S. Kwon, A.H.N. Rao, T.H. Kim, Anion exchange membranes based on terminally crosslinked methyl morpholinium-functionalized poly(arylene ether sulfone)s, J. Power Sources, In press, (2017) 1–12, 2017.
[3] X. Luo, S. Holdcroft, Water permeation through anion exchange membranes, J. Power Sources, 355 (2017) 1–10.
[4] K. Emmanuel, C. Cheng, B. Erigene, A.N. Mondal, N.U. Afsar, M.I. Khan, M.M. Hossain, C. Jiang, L. Ge, L. Wu, T. Xu, Novel synthetic route to prepare doubly quaternized anion exchange membranes for diffusion dialysis application, Sep. Purif. Technol. 189 (2017) 204–212.
[5] W. Mei, Z. Wang, J. Yan, Poly(ether sulfone) copolymers containing densely quaternized oligo(2, 6-dimethyl-1, 4-phenylene oxide) moieties as anion exchange membranes, Polymer 125 (2017) 265–275.
[6] H. Abdul Mannan, H. Mukhtar, M. Shima Shaharun, M. Roslee Othman, T. Murugesan, Polysulfone/poly(ether sulfone) blended membranes for CO2 separation, J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 133 (2016) 1–9.
[7] W. Cui, J. Kerres, G. Eigenberger, Development and characterization of ionexchange polymer blend membranes, Sep. Sci. Technol. 14 (1998) 145–154.
[8] J. Yan, H.D. Moore, M.R. Hibbs, M.A. Hickner, Synthesis and structure-property relationships of poly(sulfone)s for anion exchange membranes, J. Polym. Sci. Part B: Polym. Phys. 51 (2013) 1790–1798.
[9] X. Liao, L. Ren, D. Chen, X. Liu, H. Zhang, Nanocomposite membranes based on quaternized polysulfone and functionalized montmorillonite for anion-exchange membranes, J. Power Sources, 286 (2015) 258–263.
[10] E.A. Weiber, P. Jannasch, Ion distribution in quaternary-ammonium-functionalized aromatic polymers: effects on the ionic clustering and conductivity of anionexchange membranes, ChemSusChem. 7 (2014) 2621–2630.
[11] C. Manea, M. Mulder, Characterization of polymer blends of polyethersulfone/sulfonated polysulfone and polyethersulfone/sulfonated polyetheretherketone for direct methanol fuel cell applications, J. Membr. Sci. 206 (2002) 443–453.
[12] B. Schneier, Polymer Compatibility, J. Aplied Polym. Sci. 17 (1973) 3175–3185.
[13] A.K. Ho, B. Aernouts, W. Saeys, I.F.J. Vankelecom, Study of polymer concentration and evaporation time as phase inversion parameters for polysulfonebased SRNF membranes, J. Membr. Sci. 442 (2013) 196–205.
[14] M. L. Masheane, L.N. Nthunya, S.P. Malinga, E.N. Nxumalo, B.B. Mamba, S.D. Mhlanga, Synthesis of Fe-Ag/f-MWCNT/PES nanostructured-hybrid membranes for removal of Cr (VI) from water, Sep. Purif. Technol. 184 (2017) 79–87.
[15] Q. Zhang, H. Wang, S. Zhang, L. Dai, Positively charged nanofiltration membrane based on cardo poly(arylene ether sulfone) with pendant tertiary amine groups, J. Membr. Sci. 375 (2011) 191–197.
[16] E. Chibowski, On some relations between advancing, receding and Young’s contact angles, Adv. Colloid Interface Sci. 133 (2007) 51–59.
[17] M. Jurak, Surface free energy of organized phospholipid/lauryl gallate monolayers on mica, Colloids Surfaces A: Physicochem. Eng. Asp. 510 (2016) 213–220.
[18] C. J.V.A.N. Oss, M. K. Chaudhuty, R. J. Good, Interfacial Lifshitz-van der Waals and polar interactions in macroscopic systems, Chem. Rev. 88 (1988) 927–941.
[19] W. Wu, R.F. Giese, C.J. van Oss, Evaluation of the Lifshitz-Van Der Waals acidbase approach to determine surface-tension components, Langmuir 11 (1995) 379–382.
[20] W. Chen, X. Yan, X. Wu, S. Huang, Y. Luo, X. Gong, G. He, Tri-quaternized poly (ether sulfone) anion exchange membranes with improved hydroxide conductivity, J. Membr. Sci. 514 (2016) 613–621.
[21] K. Hendrix, M. Vaneynde, G. Koeckelberghs, I.F.J. Vankelecom, Synthesis of modified poly (ether ether ketone) polymer for the preparation of ultra filtration and nano filtration membranes via phase inversion, J. Membr. Sci. 447 (2013) 96–106.
[22] R. Boom, T. van den Boomgaard, J.W.A. van den Berg, C.A. Smolders, Linearized cloud point curve corelation for ternary systems consisting of one polymer, one solvent and one non-solvent, Polymer 34 (1993) 2348–2356.
[23] M. Florea-spiroiu, M. Olteanu, V. Stanescu, G. Nechifor, Surface tension components of plasma treated polysulphone membranes Chimie, Anul XVII (serie nouă) 2 (2008) 13–18.