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Fundamental studies on a new series of SPSEBS-PVA-QPSEBS bipolar membrane: Membrane preparation and characterization



A sulfonated polystyrene ethylene butylene polystyrene (SPSEBS)-poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)-Quaternized polystyrene ethylene butylene polystyrene (QPSEBS) bipolar membrane (BPM) was prepared by lamination method using PSEBS as the starting material, the functionalization of which was modified by sulfonation and amination while PVA was used as the intermediate layer to enhance the water splitting efficiency. The cross section view of SPSEBS-PVA-QPSEBS BPM was studied by SEM. Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR) studies indicated that the prepared BPM contained –SOmath image, –NRmath image, and –C-N functional groups. The thermal stability of the prepared BPM was studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Some of the BPM characteristics results showed that the co-ion fluxes was greater for tmath image(0.065) when compared with tmath image(0.051) along with a water splitting capacity value of 0.88 for SPSEBS-PVA-QPSEBS BPM. The water dissociation flux was 2.8 × 10−5 mol/m2/s and 2.2 × 10−5 mol/m2/s for the acid (H+) and base (OH), respectively. The other essential current-voltage characteristics and permeate flux across the membrane were also evaluated. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci 2013