Electrodialysis heterogeneous ion exchange membranes modified by SiO2 nanoparticles: fabrication and electrochemical characterization

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In the current study mixed matrix heterogeneous cation exchange membranes were prepared by solution casting technique. The effect of SiO2 nanoparticles in the polymeric solution on the physicochemical properties of prepared membranes was studied. Scanning optical microscope images showed uniform particle distribution and relatively uniform surfaces for the prepared membranes. The membrane water content was reduced by silica nanoparticles in the membranes' matrix. The membrane ion exchange capacity, membrane potential, transport number and selectivity were improved initially by an increase of SiO2 nanoparticles concentration up to 1%wt in prepared membranes and then showed a decreasing trend with a further increase in additive ratio from 1 to 4%wt. The ionic permeability and flux were also decreased initially by an increase of silica nanoparticles concentration up to 0.5%wt in the membrane matrix and then increased again with a further increase in nanoparticles concentration from 0.5 to 4%wt. Moreover, the results exhibited that using silica nanoparticles in the membrane matrix caused an obvious decrease in areal electrical resistance. The opposite trend was found for membrane mechanical strength using SiO2 nanoparticles.

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