Role of membrane pore polymerization conditions for pH responsive behavior, catalytic metal nanoparticle synthesis, and PCB degradation

Md Saiful Islam, Sebastián Hernández, Hongyi Wan, Lindell Ormsbee, Dibakar Bhattacharyya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes the effects of changing monomer and cross-linker concentrations on the mass gain, water permeability, Pd-Fe nanoparticle (NP) loading, and the rate of degradation of 3,3’,4,4’,5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 126) of pore functionalized polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes. In this study, monomer (acrylic acid (AA)) and cross-linker (N, N′- methylene-bis (acrylamide)) concentrations were varied from 10 to 20 wt% of polymer solution and 0.5–2 mol% of monomer concentration, respectively. Results showed that responsive behavior of membrane could be tuned in terms of water permeability over a range of 270–1 L m−2 h−1 bar−1, which is a function of water pH. The NP size on the membrane surface was found in the range of 16–23 nm. With increasing cross-linker density the percentage of smaller NPs (< 10 nm) increases due to smaller mesh size formation during in-situ polymerization of membrane. NP loading was found to vary from 0.21 to 0.94 mg per cm2 of membrane area depending on the variation of available carboxyl groups in membrane pore domain. The NPs functionalized membranes were then tested for use as a platform for the degradation of PCB 126. The observed batch reaction rate (Kobs) for PCB 126 degradation for per mg of catalyst loading was found 0.08–0.1 h−1. Degradation study in convective flow mode shows 98.6% PCB 126 is degraded at a residence time of 46.2 s. The corresponding surface area normalized reaction rate (Ksa) is found about two times higher than Ksa of batch degradation; suggesting elimination of the effect of diffusion resistance for degradation of PCB 126 in convective flow mode operation. These Pd-Fe-PAA-PVDF membranes and nanoparticles are characterized by TGA, contact angle measurement, surface zeta potential, XRD, SEM, XPS, FIB, TEM and other techniques reveal the details about the membrane surface, pores and nanoparticles size, shape and size-distribution. Statistical analysis based on experimental results allows us to depict responsive behavior of functionalized membrane. In our best knowledge this paper first time reports detail study on responsive behavior of pore functionalized membrane in terms of permeability, NPs size, metal loading and its effect on PCB 126 degradation in a quantified approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-361
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Acrylic acid
  • Cross-linker
  • FIB
  • Nanoparticles
  • PCB dechlorination
  • PVDF membrane

Cite this