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Superhydrophilic In-Situ-Cross-Linked Zwitterionic Polyelectrolyte/PVDF-Blend Membrane for Highly Efficient Oil/Water Emulsion Separation

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journal contribution
posted on 01.03.2017, 00:00 by Yuzhang Zhu, Wei Xie, Feng Zhang, Tieling Xing, Jian Jin
Because of weak hydrophilicity, membranes always experience fouling problems during separations. This phenomenon seriously impedes the development of membrane technologies for practical industrial-oil wastewater treatment. In this work, we successfully fabricated a superhydrophilic zwitterionic poly­(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membrane using a two-part process with an in situ cross-linking reaction during nonsolvent-induced phase separation and a subsequent sulfonation reaction. To prepare this zwitterionic PVDF membrane, a copolymer poly­(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate-co-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PDH) was synthesized as a zwitterionic polymer precursor and used as an additive in membrane preparation. This zwitterionic additive is well-immobilized in the membrane using in situ cross-linking to ensure the long-term stability of the membrane, and subsequent sulfonation transforms the precursor to a zwitterionic polymer to produce a superhydrophilic membrane. This superhydrophilic zwitterionic PVDF membrane exhibits high water permeation flux and good antifouling properties for separating oil-in-water emulsions with high separation efficiency.