New Block Copolymers for Membrane Materials

by Francis A. DiGiano, (M.ASCE),
Ying Chu,
Joseph M. DeSimone,
Benny D. Freeman,
Camille Kassis,
Doug Betz,



Abstract: New fluorine containing polymer materials, which contain n-fluoro octylacrylate (pFOA) or n-fluorooctylmethylacrylate (pFOMA) repeating units, are being explored for use in thin film composite membranes in treatment of drinking water. These polymers both have extremely low surface tension which should prevent the accumulation of foulant materials from water. However, they need to be chemically linked with a hydrophilic polymer, e.g. vinyl alcohol, in order to produce hydrophilic regions that span the entire sample thickness and thus form channels for water permeation. Such a microphase-separated structure can be controlled through the process of block copolymer synthesis. The initial findings from synthesis and characterization of copolymers and formation of thin-film composite membranes are presented.

Subject Headings: Polymer | Composite materials | Membranes | Water treatment | Surface Tension (water properties) | Drinking water | Ultimate strength

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