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01-02-2013 | Original Paper | Issue 2/2013

Journal of Polymer Research 2/2013

Characterization and preparation of poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) microporous membranes with interconnected bicontinuous structures via non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS)

Journal:
Journal of Polymer Research > Issue 2/2013
Authors:
Ping-Yun Zhang, Hu Yang, Zhen-Liang Xu, Yong-Ming Wei, Jun-Lian Guo, Dong-Gen Chen
Important notes

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10965-012-0066-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes possessing interconnected bicontinuous structures with superior mechanical properties and improved hydrophilicity were obtained from PVDF/N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc)/Tween 80/water systems via non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) with 60 °C and ambient temperature casting solution. Tween 80/H2O mixtures were adopted as dopant; water/ethanol (50:50, mass ratio) and ethanol were chosen as coagulants. The effects of process parameters in terms of variations in dopant contents, casting solution temperatures, and coagulant compositions on the phase inversion process and performance of the resultant membranes were investigated. During the demixing process, water diffused from the interior of Tween 80 reverse micelles, resulting in an accelerated precipitation rate and surface segregation process of the polar head groups of Tween 80. The high temperature of the casting solution contributed to enhancing the diffusion rate of liquid–liquid demixing on crystallization. The coagulant compositions changed the liquid–liquid and solid–liquid demixing dynamics of the casting solutions. Ethanol coagulant contributed to crystallization of PVDF/DMAc/Tween 80/water systems prior to liquid–liquid demixing. This delayed demixing process favored the formation of porous foliage-type top structures with fibril or lath bicontinuous fine structure of membrane bulk, increasing flux, and significant hydrophilicity improvement. Casting solutions in water/ethanol coagulant exhibited a less delayed demixing process with both liquid–liquid demixing and crystallization, resulting in formation of fine structure in the form of strings or stripes and limited hydrophilicity improvement. The predominant typical α- and β-type crystallinity in PVDF was attributed to the existence of dopants, the high temperature of the casting solution, and water/ethanol coagulant. This was consistent with the superior mechanical properties of the corresponding PVDF membrane. The newly developed hydrophilic PVDF membranes with superior mechanical properties and low-fouling of bovine serum albumin (BSA) are anticipated to be suitable not only for wastewater treatment, but also for bioseparation.

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Supplementary Material
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10965_2012_66_MOESM1_ESM.doc
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