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Catalyst- and Stabilizer-Free Rational Synthesis of Ionic Polymer Nanoparticles in One Step for Oil/Water Separation Membranes

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-29, 12:04 authored by Syed Ibrahim Gnani Peer Mohamed, Arun M. Isloor, Ramin Farnood
Ionic polymer nanoparticles (IPNs) were synthesized in one pot by quaternization precipitation polymerization (QPP) as a novel polymerization technique. QPP eliminated the usage of high-cost ionic monomers and reduced the number of steps for the preparation of IPN. The monomers 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and 4-vinylbenzyl chloride (VBC) polymerized in the presence of azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) and underwent quaternization simultaneously, which yielded ionic poly(DMAEMA-co-VBC) nanoparticles in one step with the size of 50–80 nm without any stabilizer and catalyst. Similarly, 4-vinylpyridine (VP) and VBC polymerized in the presence of AIBN and underwent quaternization simultaneously, which yielded ionic poly(VP-co-VBC) nanoparticles in one step with the size of 70–90 nm without any stabilizer and catalyst. The as-synthesized IPN was further utilized for the fabrication of hydrophilic nanocomposite ultrafiltration membranes for oil/water separation. Fabricated hybrid membranes were characterized and studied for oil rejection properties. It exhibited an oil rejection of >96% with a pure water permeability of 219 L/m2 h bar.

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