Langmuir, Vol.20, No.12, 4989-4995, 2004
Chemical modification of the surface of a sulfonated membrane by formation of a sulfonamide bond
This paper describes a novel approach for the surface modification of a cation-exchange membrane, bearing sulfonate groups, by a cationic layer. The modification procedure involved the chlorosulfonation of the sulfonate groups of the base membrane with thionyl chloride, followed by a reaction with a diamine to yield a sulfonamide bond and a terminal amine. The latter could be quaternized by reaction with methyl iodide or protonated by soaking in acidic media. The membranes were characterized in detail by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies as well as elemental analysis to confirm that the above reactions occurred. The selectivity of these membranes toward the electrochemically assisted transport of protons versus Zn2+ metallic cations was determined during an electrodialysis in a two-compartment electrochemical cell. The data indicate a significant decrease of the transport of the metallic cations following modification of the membrane with the cationic layer. The later allows for the transport of protons from the catholyte to the anolyte compartment with much improved selectivity since the divalent cations are excluded from the membrane due to the electrostatic barrier of the cationic layer.