Fundamental salt and water transport properties in directly copolymerized disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) random copolymers

Wei Xie, Joe Cook, Ho Bum Park, Benny D. Freeman, Chang Hyun Lee, James E. McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Water and sodium chloride solubility, diffusivity and permeability in disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (BPS) copolymers were measured for both acid and salt form samples at sulfonation levels from 20 to 40 mol percent. The hydrophilicity of these materials, based on water uptake, increased significantly as sulfonation level increased. The water permeability of BPS materials in both the salt and acid forms increases more than one order of magnitude as sulfonation level increases from 20% to 40%, while NaCl permeability increases by two orders of magnitude. The water and salt diffusivity and permeability were correlated with water uptake, consistent with expectations from free volume theory. In addition, a tradeoff was observed between water/salt solubility, diffusivity, and permeability selectivity and water solubility, diffusivity and permeability, respectively. This finding suggests a water/salt permeability/selectivity tradeoff, similar to that operative in gas separation polymers, in this family of polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2032-2043
Number of pages12
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Desalination
  • Disulfonated polysulfone
  • Transport properties

Cite this