Highly porous polytriazole ion exchange membranes cast from solutions in non-toxic cosolvents
Stefan Chisca, Monica Torsello, Marco Avanzato, Yihui Xie, Cristiana Boi, Suzana P Nunes
Polymer, 126, 446-454 (2017)
The development of highly functionalized porous materials for protein separation is important for biotech processes. We report the preparation of highly porous polytriazole with sulfonic acid functionalization. The resulting ion exchange membranes are selective for protein adsorption. The starting material was a hydroxyl-functionalized polytriazole, which is an advantageous platform for further modification. The polymer was dissolved in a mixture of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim]OAc) and dimethyl carbonate (DMC), which can be both considered green solvents. The polymer solubilization was only possible due to an interesting effect of cosolvency, which is discussed, based in phase diagrams. Membranes were prepared by solution casting, followed by immersion in a non-solvent bath. We then grafted sulfone groups on the membranes, by reacting the hydroxyl groups with 1,3-propane sultone and 1,4-butane sultone. Lysozyme adsorption was successfully evaluated. Membranes modified with 1,4-butane sultone adsorbed more protein than those with 1,3-propane sultone.