American Chemical Society
es3c07030_si_003.mp4 (19.74 MB)

Electrically Redox-Active Membrane with Switchable Selectivity to Contaminants for Water Purification

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posted on 2023-10-31, 15:09 authored by Lie Liu, Huachun Lan, Yuqi Cui, Xiaoqiang An, Meng Sun, Huijuan Liu, Jiuhui Qu
Membrane technology provides an attractive approach for water purification but faces significant challenges in separating small molecules due to its lack of satisfactory permselectivity. In this study, a polypyrrole-based active membrane with a switchable multi-affinity that simultaneously separates small ionic and organic contaminants from water was created. Unlike conventional passive membranes, the designed membrane exhibits a good single-pass filtration efficiency (>99%, taking 1-naphthylamine and Pb2+ as examples) and high permeability (227 L/m2/h). Applying a reversible potential can release the captured substances from the membrane, thus enabling membrane regeneration and self-cleaning without the need for additives. Advanced characterizations reveal that potential switching alters the orientation of the doped amphipathic molecules with the self-alignment of the hydrophobic alkyl chains or the disordered sulfonate anions to capture the target organic molecules or ions via hydrophobic or electrostatic interactions, respectively. The designed smart membrane holds great promise for controllable molecular separation and water purification.