skip to main content


Title: Resilient hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes fabricated from crosslinkable phase-separated copolymers
As wastewater reclamation and reuse technologies become more critical to meeting the growing demand for water, a need has emerged for separation platforms that can be tailored to accommodate the highly varied feed water compositions and treatment demands of these technologies. Nanofiltration (NF) membranes based on copolymer materials are a promising platform in this regard because they can be engineered at the molecular scale to address an array of separation process needs. Here, for example, a resilient NF membrane is developed through the design of a poly(trifluoroethyl methacrylate- co -oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate- co -glycidyl methacrylate) [P(TFEMA-OEGMA-GMA)] copolymer that can be dip-coated onto hollow fiber supports. By exploiting the microphase separation of the oligomeric ethylene glycol side chains from the copolymer backbone and by elucidating the processing–structure–property relationships for the dip-coating process, membranes with pores 2 nm-in-diameter that exhibit a hydraulic permeability of 15.6 L m −2 h −1 bar −1 were generated. The GMA repeat units were functionalized post-coating with hexamethylene diamine to incorporate positively-charged moieties along the pore walls. This functionality resulted in membranes that rejected 98% of the MgCl 2 from a 1 mM feed solution. Moreover, the reaction with the diamine crosslinked the copolymer such that the membranes operated stably in ethanol, an organic solvent that damaged the unreacted parent membranes irreparably. Finally, the stability of the crosslinked P(TFEMA-OEGMA-GMA) copolymer resulted in membranes that could operate continuously for a 24 hour period in aqueous solutions containing 500 ppm chlorine without exhibiting signs of structural degradation as evidenced by consistent rejection of neutral probe solutes. These results demonstrate how resilient, charge-selective NF membranes can be fabricated from microphase separated copolymers by engineering each of the constituent repeat units for a directed purpose.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1932206
NSF-PAR ID:
10192183
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Molecular Systems Design & Engineering
Volume:
5
Issue:
5
ISSN:
2058-9689
Page Range / eLocation ID:
943 to 953
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Understanding multi-component transport through polymer membranes is critical for separation applications such as water purification, energy devices, etc. Specifically for CO2 reduction cells, where the CO2 reduction products (alcohols and carboxylate salts), crossover of these species is undesirable and improving the design of ion exchange membranes to prevent this behavior is needed. Previously, it was observed that acetate transport increased in copermeation with alcohols for cation exchange membranes consisting of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) and 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid (AMPS) and that the inclusion of poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate (PEGMA) (n = 5, n represents the number of ethylene oxide repeat units) could suppress this behavior. Here, we further investigate the role of PEGMA in modulating fractional free volume and transport behavior of alcohols and carboxylates. PEGDA-PEGMA membranes of varied membranes are fabricated with both varied pre −polymerization water content at constant PEGMA (n = 9) content and varied PEGMA content at two pre −polymerization water contents (20 and 60 wt.% water). Permeability to sodium acetate also decreases in these charge-neutral PEGDA-PEGMA membranes compared to PEGMA-free films. Therefore, incorporation of comonomers such as PEGMA with long side chains may provide a useful membrane chemistry structural motif for preventing undesirable carboxylate crossover in polymer membranes. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), also called marrow stromal cells, are adult cells that have attracted interest for their potential uses in therapeutic applications. There is a pressing need for scalable culture systems due to the large number of cells needed for clinical treatments. Here, a tailorable thin polymer coating—poly(poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate‐ran‐vinyl dimethyl azlactone‐ran‐glycidyl methacrylate) [P(PEGMEMA‐r‐VDM‐r‐GMA); PVG]—to the surface of commercially available polystyrene and glass microcarriers to create chemically defined surfaces for large‐scale cell expansion is applied. These chemically defined microcarriers create a reproducible surface that does not rely on the adsorption of xenogenic serum proteins to mediate cell adhesion. Specifically, this coating method anchors PVG copolymer through ring opening nucleophilic attack by amine residues on poly‐l‐lysine that is pre‐adsorbed to the surface of microcarriers. Importantly, this anchoring reaction preserves the monomer VDM reactivity for subsequent functionalization with an integrin‐specific Arg‐Gly‐Asp peptide to enable cell adhesion and expansion via a one‐step reaction in aqueous media. MSCs cultured on PVG‐coated microcarriers achieve sixfold expansion—similar to the expansion achieved on PS microcarriers—and retain their ability to differentiate after harvesting.

     
    more » « less
  3. Membrane-based separations offer the potential for the lowest energy demand requirements of all separation options. Among all nanoporous membranes, the carbon molecular sieves (CMS), metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), and mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) with angstrom level molecular discrimination properties makes them appealing for separating a wide spectrum of gas-pairs. Here we present results of gas selectivity and diffusion of different gases (C2H6, C2H4, C3H8, C3H6, H2, N2, CO2, and CH4) in porous organic cages (POCs) incorporated into fluorinated copolyimides polymers (FCPs). The FCPs were synthesized by the iridization reaction of fluorinated dianhydrides, nonfluorinated dianhydride, and nonfluorinated diamine. Asymmetric hollow fiber membranes formed by the dry-jet/wet-quench spinning process. Once fresh FCP fibers were synthesized, they were crosslinked with POCs, vacuum dried at 90 °C. We investigated the uptake, gas selectivity and diffusion of different gases (C2H6, C2H4, C3H8, C3H6, H2, N2, CO2, and CH4) over synthesized POC-mixed matrixed membranes (POC-MMM) at 25 °C and pressures up to 1 bar. At 1 bar and 25 °C, C2H6, C2H4, C3H8, C3H6 adsorption capacities reached to 42.61, 2.56, 2.77 and 2.65 mmol/g over POC-MMM, respectively, while CO2, CH4, CO, N2 and H2 adsorption capacities of 1.48, 0.84, 0.33, 0.11, and 0.068 mmol/g, respectively. Furthermore, stable CMS membrane were formed by pyrolysis of POC-MMMs under an inert argon atmosphere at 1 atm. To test the gas transport properties of CMS-derived POC/MMM, a lab-scale hollow fiber module with two-five fibers was constructed. The results of longer-term operation of synthesized CMS membrane that was continuously operated for 264 h (10 days) with an equimolar binary H2/CO2, CH4/CO2 and C3H6/C3H8 feed at 25°C and 1 bar feed pressure. The modification yielded promising results in the reduction of physical aging of CMS membranes. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Blending metakaolin (MK), a calcined clay, into portland cement (PC) improves resulting concrete material properties, ranging from strength to durability, as well as reducing embodied CO2and energy. However, superplasticizers developed for PC can be inefficient or ineffective for improving the dispersion of PC‐MK blends. Here, a novel machine algorithm is applied to tailor a superplasticizer to address poor flowability characteristic of 15/85 blends of MK‐PC. A hierarchical machine learning (HML) system is trained on a library of seven superplasticizers using a middle layer, which represents underlying physical interactions that determine system responses, based on polymer contributions to physicochemical forces in both the pore solution and particle surface. Following reparameterization of the response surface by polymer composition, the trained algorithm predicted that a novel styrene sulfonate‐methacrylic acid‐poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate copolymer would maximize slump of the MK‐PC paste. Synthesis of the algorithm prediction resulted in a water‐soluble polymer with an extremely high intrinsic viscosity that nevertheless increased the slump flow of the MK‐PC paste but did not plasticize pure PC paste. The results from this study demonstrate the importance of HML as a design tool for the molecular engineering of complex material systems.

     
    more » « less
  5. Here we present results of gas selectivity and diffusion of different gases (C2H6, C2H4, C3H8, C3H6, H2, N2, CO2, and CH4) in porous organic cages (POCs) incorporated into fluorinated copolyimides polymers (FCPs). The FCPs were synthesized by the thermal and chemical imidization reaction of fluorinated dianhydrides, nonfluorinated dianhydride, and nonfluorinated diamine. Asymmetric hollow fiber membranes formed by the dry-jet/wet-quench spinning process. Once fresh FCP fibers were synthesized, they were crosslinked with POCs, vacuum dried at 90 °C. We investigated the uptake, gas selectivity and diffusion of different gases (C3H8, C3H6, CO2, and H2) over synthesized POC-mixed matrixed membranes (POC-MMM) at 25 °C and pressures up to 1 bar. At 1 bar and 25 °C, C3H8, C3H6 adsorption capacities reached 2.77 and 2.65 mmol/g over POC-MMM, respectively, while CO2, CH4, CO, N2 and H2 adsorption capacities of 1.48, 0.84, 0.33, 0.11, and 0.068 mmol/g, respectively. Furthermore, stable CMS membrane was formed by pyrolysis of POC-MMMs under an inert argon atmosphere at 1 atm. To test the gas transport properties of CMS-derived POC/MMM, a lab-scale hollow fiber module with two-five fibers was constructed. The results of longer-term operation of synthesized CMS membrane that was continuously operated for 264 h (10 days) with an equimolar binary H2/CO2, CH4/CO2 and C3H6/C3H8 feed at 25°C and 1 bar feed pressure. The modification yielded promising results in the reduction of physical aging of CMS membranes. 
    more » « less