Anti-fouling Graft Copolymer Coatings on Commercial Membranes
Hydrolytically stable, amphiphilic, and photoactive graft copolymers have been synthesized and applied as coatings to commercial membranes materials.
The graft copolymers of this invention can be applied to commercial membranes as sub-micron coatings to prevent fouling. For example, poly(vinylidene fluoride) ultrafiltration (PVDF-UF) membranes undergo little-to-no fouling in cross-flow filtration experiments with an oil-in-water emulsion feed. Conversely, the commercially available uncoated membranes foul readily under identical conditions.
The graft copolymer coating provides a clear advantage over the commercial material by preventing membrane fouling. The graft copolymer synthesis is of interest for the ability to readily tune properties, including hydrophilicity, graft length and density, and relative degree of cross-linking functionality on the polymer backbone.
Ling X. Shen, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property