This work described the preparation of membranes based on aromatic polysulfones through the phase-inversion method induced by a nonsolvent, generating the phase separation (NIPS) process. Three new techniques, including the nano iron acid etching method, base hydrolysis method of crosslinked polymers, and base hydrolysis method of a reactive component in a binary polymer blend, were developed for pore creation on membranes. The modified polymers and obtained membranes were carefully characterized. The uniform pores were successfully created by base hydrolysis of the crosslinked polymers and obtained at the size of the crosslinker. Moreover, homogeneous pores were created after base hydrolysis of the membranes prepared from binary polymer blends due to the internal changes in the polymer structure. The separation performance of membranes was tested with different inorganic salt solutions and compared with commercially known membranes. These new membranes exhibited high water flux (up to 3000 L/m−2·h−1 at 10 bar and at 25◦C) and reasonable rejections for monovalent (21–44%) and multivalent ions (18–60%), depending on the different etching of the hydrolysis times. The comparison of these membranes with commercial ones confirmed their good separation performance and high potential application for water treatment applications.
- Chemical etching and hydrolysis
- Polysulfone membranes
- Pore formation
- Ultrafiltration and nanofiltration