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Comb-shaped anion exchange membrane to enhance phosphoric acid purification by electro-electrodialysis

Duan, Xiaoling; Wang, Cunwen; Wang, Tielin; Xie, Xiaolin; Zhou, Xingping; Ye, Yunsheng

By 12 March 2019No Comments

Journal of Membrane Science, 2019, vol 573pp. 64-72



Comb-shaped polysulfone anion exchange membranes (AEMs) containing various pendant alkyl side chains were synthesized and characterized. Ionic clusters aggregation is observed in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The comb-shaped quaternized ammonium polysulfone (Cx-QAPSU) membranes show enhanced dimensional stability and ultra-low membrane area resistance (Rm). Notably, the C16-QAPSU with 16 carbon atoms has the best hydrophilic-hydrophobic phase separation structure and lowest Rm of 2.5 Ω cm2 despite low ion exchange capacity (IEC) of 1.55 mmol/g and swelling ratio of 5.3%. Moreover, comb-shaped AEMs show much higher tensile strength (TS) compared to QAPSU membrane under the same IEC level. The C16-QAPSU with lowest Rm of 2.5 Ω cm2 exhibits the highest TS of 16.7 MPa. These results indicate that the long alkyl side chains especially the length of the pendant side chain of Cx-QAPSU up to C16 achieve an electrochemical-mechanical balance of AEMs. In electro-electrodialysis systems, the comb-shaped AEMs exhibit higher purification efficiency of wet phosphoric acid than non-comb-shaped AEMs.

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