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Synthesis and Characterization of Ultrahigh Ion-Exchange Capacity Polymeric Membranes

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journal contribution
posted on 26.08.2016 by Weifeng Zhao, Chao He, Chuanxiong Nie, Shudong Sun, Changsheng Zhao
A universal mold casting approach for the preparation of cation-exchange membranes (CEMs) and anion-exchange membranes (AEMs) with ultrahigh ion-exchange capacities (IECs) is developed based on in situ cross-linking polymerization of acrylic acid (AA) and 2-vinylpyridine (2VP), respectively. This new method produced ultrahigh IECs of 7.88 mequiv g–1 for CEM and 6.27 mequiv g–1 for AEM, which are 8.8 and 7.0 times that (0.89 mequiv g–1) of Nafion 117, respectively. Also, the prepared membranes demonstrate excellent thermal and chemical stability and acceptable conductivity. As a consequence, the membranes show relatively high performance for ion-exchange application and methanol barrier, exhibiting ion permeabilities of 2.06 × 10–7 cm2 s–1 for Na+, 2.57 × 10–7 cm2 s–1 for Ca2+, 1.45 × 10–7 cm2 s–1 for Cu2+ regarding CEMs, and 7.72 × 10–7 cm2 s–1 for methanol regarding AEMs. These results indicate that the CEMs and AEMs fabricated from the universal mold casting approach are promising candidates for targeting ultrahigh ion-exchange capacity membranes.