Organic-inorganic crosslinked and hybrid membranes derived from sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)/silica via sol-gel process
A series of covalently crosslinkable organic-inorganic hybrid membranes have been prepared from sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (SPAES) with pendant propenyl moiety and various amounts of vinyl substituted silica via sol-gel process which are then thermally crosslinked in the presence of benzoyl peroxide (BPO) initiator. The obtained membranes are characterized in terms of oxidative stability, thermal property, ion exchange capacity (IEC), water uptake, swelling ratio in methanol aqueous solution, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability coefficient. The results indicate that the oxidative stability and thermal stability of the hybrid membranes are improved. Moreover, introduction of silica reduces the water uptake and methanol swelling of membranes. The swelling ratio of membranes in 2 mol L -1 methanol aqueous solution at 80 °C slowly decreases from 26 to 19% with the increase of SiO 2 content from 0 to 12 wt.%. Furthermore, with the increase in silica content, the methanol permeability coefficient of the hybrid membranes decreases at first and then increases. When the silica content reaches 8 wt.%, the methanol permeability coefficient is at the minimum of 6.02 × 10 -7 cm 2 s -1, a 2.64-fold decrease compared with that of the pristine SPAES membrane. Moreover, the proton conductivity is found to be at about 95% of that of pristine polymer at that silica content.