Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.28, No.1, 98-103, 2020
Selective swelling of polysulfone/poly(ethylene glycol) block copolymer towards fouling-resistant ultrafiltration membranes
Fouling resistance of ultrafiltration (UF) membranes is critical for their long-term usages in terms of stable performance, so convenient approaches to prepare fouling-resistant membranes are always anticipated. Herein, we demonstrate the facile fabrication of antifouling polysuifone-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PSF-b-PEG, SFEG) composite membranes. SFEG layer was coated onto maaoporous supports and cavitated by immerging them in acelone/n-propanol following the mechanism of selective swelling induced pore generation. Thus-produced SFEG membranes possessed high permeance and excellent mechanical strength. Meanwhile, the structures and separation performances of the SFEG layers can be continuously tuned through simply changing swelling durations. More importantly, the hydrophilic PEG chains were spontaneously enriched onto the pore walls through swelling treatment, endowing intrinsic antifouling property to the SFEG membranes. Bovine scrum albumin (BSA)/humic acid (HA) fouling tests proved the prominent fouling resistance of SFEG membranes, and the fouling resistance is expected to be long-standing because of the firm connection between PEG chains and PSF matrix by covalent bonding. (C) 2019 The Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China, and Chemical Industry Press Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.