Modification of poly(phthalazinone ether sulfone ketone) (PPESK) by sulfonation with concentrated or fuming sulfuric acid as sulfonation agents was carried out to prepare membrane materials with increased hydrophilicity and potentially increased fouling resistance. Sulfonated PPESK (SPPESK) copolymers, with a degree of sulfonation ranging from 10-300%, were prepared and characterized. Factors affecting the sulfonation reaction were studied, and reaction conditions for the preparation of SPPESK with different degrees of sulfonation were determined. Compared with the properties of PPESK, the hydrophilicity of SPPESK was increased, as shown by a reduced contact angle with water. The glass transition temperature was increased from 278°C (PPESK) to a maximum of 323°C for the highly sulfonated derivative, due to the strong polarity of -SO3H and hydrogen bonding. Ultrafiltration membranes prepared with PPESK and SPPESK were compared. For a SPPESK asymmetric membrane, the PEG12000 rejection was 98% and the water flux was 876 kg.m-2.h-1. SFFESK/ PPESK composite nanofiltration membranes were also prepared and were shown to have short-term operational stability up to 120°C.
Journal of Applied Polymer Science79, no. 9 (2001): 1685–1692.