Functionalized Anion-Exchange Membranes Facilitate Electrodialysis of Citrate and Phosphate from Model Dairy Wastewater

Laura Paltrinieri*, Elisa Huerta, Theo Puts, Willem Van Baak, Albert B. Verver, Ernst J.R. Sudhölter, Louis C.P.M. De Smet

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)
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    In this study, the preparation of a new, functional anion-exchange membrane (AEM), containing guanidinium groups as the anion-exchanging sites (Gu-100), is described as well as the membrane characterization by XPS, water uptake, permselectivities, and electrical resistances. The functional membrane was also employed in pH-dependent electrodialysis experiments using model dairy wastewater streams. The properties of the new membrane are compared to those of a commercially available anion-exchange membrane bearing conventional quaternary ammonium groups (Gu-0). Guanidinium was chosen for its specific binding properties toward oxyanions: e.g., phosphate. This functional moiety was covalently coupled to an acrylate monomer via a facile two-step synthesis to yield bulk-modified membranes upon polymerization. Significant differences were observed in the electrodialysis experiments for Gu-0 and Gu-100 at pH 7, showing an enhanced phosphate and citrate transport for Gu-100 in comparison to Gu-0. At pH 10 the difference is much more pronounced: for Gu-0 membranes almost no phosphate and citrate transport could be detected, while the Gu-100 membranes transported both ions significantly. We conclude that having guanidinium groups as anion-exchange sites improves the selectivity of AEMs. As the presented monomer synthesis strategy is modular, we consider the implementation of functional groups into a polymer-based membrane via the synthesis of tailor-made monomers as an important step toward selective ion transport, which is relevant for various fields, including water treatment processes and fuel cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages9
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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