CO2-Switchable Membranes Prepared by Immobilization of CO2-Breathing Microgels
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Herein, we report the development of a novel CO2-responsive membrane system through immobilization of CO2-responsive microgels into commercially available microfiltration membranes using a method of dynamic adsorption. The microgels, prepared from soap-free emulsion polymerization of CO2-responsive monomer 2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DEA), can be reversibly expanded and shrunken upon CO2/N2 alternation. When incorporated into the membranes, this switching behavior was preserved and further led to transformation between microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes, as indicated from the dramatic changes on water flux and BSA rejection results. This CO2-regulated performance switching of membranes was caused by the changes of water transportation channel, as revealed from the dynamic water contact angle tests and SEM observation. This work represents a simple yet versatile strategy for making CO2-responsive membranes.
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