Tailored pore gradient in phenolic membranes for adjustable permselectivity by leveraging different poloxamers
|BLOCK-COPOLYMER; Engineering; Engineering, Chemical; Gelation; GRAPHENE OXIDE MEMBRANES; Membrane separation; Phenolic membranes; Poloxamers; Pore gradient; SEPARATION; ULTRATHIN; WATER
|SEPARATION AND PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY
Cost-affordable phenolic membranes having gradient nanostructures can be facilely synthesized from resol oligomers in the presence of ZnCl2 and poloxamers. The gradient nanostructures are formed by stacking phenolic nanoparticles with gradually enlarged diameters as the distance from the upper surface increases. The use of poloxamers for creating gelation surroundings is of great significance for controlling the nucleation and growth of phenolic nanoparticles, which in turn dictates the performance of the phenolic membranes thus-produced. Hence, a study of the effects of poloxamers species on the preparation of the phenolic membranes is highly demanded since such robust membranes have much potential to be scale up for mass production. Herein, the poloxamer Pluronic F127 (EO106-PO70-EO106; EO = ethyleneoxide, PO = propyleneoxide) was introduced in the membrane-forming formulations. As opposed to P123 (EO20-PO70-EO20) that we used previously, F127 possessing extended PEO chains can delay the gelation during membrane formation. Hence, the phenolic nucleates are able to grow for longer durations, leading to the generation of more distinct gradient nanostructures in the phenolic membranes. Enhanced permeance can then be realized with F127-derived phenolic membranes. We also demonstrate that L31 (EO1-PO22-EO1) with merely single terminal EO units at the ends of the PPO block could be used to prepare gradient phenolic membranes. This work is not only much helpful to deeply understand the design of the structural gradient in phenolic membranes, but capable of sheding light on the development of such intriguing structures for water purification.
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