Sulfonated polysulfone desalination membranes by melt extrusion
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This dissertation discusses preparation and transport property characterization of sulfonated polysulfone desalination membranes by melt processing. One route to melt processing of high glass transition temperature polyelectrolytes, such as disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (BPS), involves mixing a plasticizer with the polymer. In this study, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) was used as a plasticizer for BPS. Currently, most ion containing membranes used for desalination, electrodialysis, etc. are prepared using solvent-based processing, which is costly and environmentally unfriendly. The goal of this study has been to conduct a fundamental exploration of processing conditions useful for preparing desalination membranes without the use of solvents. Long term, this research may has the foundation for melt processing to prepare desalination membranes having equivalent or better separation properties as those of conventional solution processed membranes.