Clemson University

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Summer 2013 REU Poster: Antimicrobial, antifouling membranes for water treatment

Friday, July 26, 2013 3:30pm - 3:50pm EDT  
Host: Antimicrobial, Antifouling Membranes
By: Jake Perry, REU Program 2013, Clemson University

This contribution describes the use of surface-initiated ATRP (Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization) to prepare pH-responsive membranes. The primary objective of the work is to develop membranes with both antifouling and antimicrobial properties through the use of a polymer that switches reversibly between an active (antimicrobial) and passive (antifouling) state. Currently, many membranes increase cost in large-scale industrial applications because of the enhanced cost of cleaning and replacement due to fouling. If these costs can be decreased, then membrane application may spread to water treatment and purification for potable water, process water from oil and gas sites, and other separation processes that can benefit from high selectivity and permeability. ATRP was used to polymerize glycidal methacrylate from the surface of regenerated cellulose membranes. Sarcosine t-butyl ester hydrochloride was reacted with the epoxide side groups of the grafted polymer. These functional groups are able to switch between a zwitterionic conformation and cationic conformation depending upon the pH of solution.


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Jake Perry

REU Program 2013, Clemson University

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