Exploiting the electrical conductivity of poly-acid doped polyaniline membranes with enhanced durability for organic solvent nanofiltration

Adem Sarihan, Salman Shahid, Junjie Shen, Ida Amura, Darrell Alec Patterson, Emma Anna Carolina Emanuelsson

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We have developed stable organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) membranes that are electrically conductive. These membranes overcome key issues with current tuneable membranes: molecular weight cut off (MWCO) limited to the UF-range and lack of filtration stability. Polyaniline (PANI) was in-situ doped by poly(2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid) (PAMPSA) using chemical oxidative polymerization that leads to formation of interpolymer complex. The PANI-PAMPSA membranes were prepared by phase inversion method and the pore sizes were shrunk by annealing the membranes at temperatures lower than the crosslinking temperature. The membranes were systematically evaluated using visual and chemical analysis and in-filtration experiments. The developed membranes were solvent stable, reusable, had a denser structure and lower MWCO and there was no thermal crosslinking as seen by IR. The solvent permeance obtained were: 0.46, 0.60 and 0.74 Lm −2 h −1 bar −1 for acetone, 2-propanol and methanol respectively, with MWCO below 300 Da and 266 Da for methanol. For the tuneability investigation, when applying an electrical potential (20 V) in a custom-made cross-flow membrane cell, an increase in MWCO and permeance (10.4% and 55.6%, respectively) was observed. These results show that this simple in-situ doping method with heat treatment can produce promising and stable PANI membranes, for OSN processes in different solvents, with the distinctive feature of in-situ performance control by applying external electrical potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Early online date15 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Electrical tuneable membranes
  • Heat treatment
  • Organic solvent nanofiltration
  • Polyaniline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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