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Environmental science & technology

Self-Healing Hydrogel Pore-Filled Water Filtration Membranes.


PMID 28060490

Abstract

Damages to water filtration membranes during installation and operation are known to cause detrimental loss of the product water quality. Membranes that have the ability to self-heal would recover their original rejection levels autonomously, bypassing the need for costly integrity monitoring and membrane replacement practices. Herein, we fabricated hydrogel pore-filled membranes via in situ graft polymerization of 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid (AMPS) onto microporous poly(ether sulfone) (PES) substrates and successfully demonstrated their self-healing ability. Covalent attachment of the hydrogel to the substrate was essential for stable membrane performance. The membranes autonomously restore their particle rejection up to 99% from rejection levels as low as 30% after being physically damaged. We attribute the observed self-healing property to swelling of the pore-filling hydrogel into the damage site, strong hydrogen bonding, and molecular interdiffusion. The results of this study show that hydrogel pore-filled membranes are a promising new class of materials for fabricating self-healing membranes.

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282731
2-Acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid, 99%
C7H13NO4S