Highly energy efficient and ion permeable ion exchange membranes are in high demand in many modern sectors to clean water, transform energy, and store energy in devices like electro-dialyzer, fuel cells, and batteries. However, greater resistance and reduction in ion permeation of conventional membranes dictate the desire for nanostructured functional ion exchange membranes. This project proposes the fabrication of ion exchange membranes using electroactive nanostructured polyaniline incorporation into ion exchange materials, electrostatically interaction between polymer and nanostructured electroactive material overcomes the problem of high resistance and less ion permeation. Solution casting and post-drying techniques are used for membrane casting. Nanostructured electroactive material helps to increase ionic conduction thus reducing 17% resistance for functional cation exchange membrane (FCEM) and 12% for functional anion exchange membrane (FAEM) also assisting to increase ion permeation. Hydrophilic nanostructured polyaniline electroactive material holds more water and increases water uptake. Cross-linking increases stability as well as reduces 17% and 8% swelling degrees for FCEM and FAEM respectively. Besides the electrochemical property offers an increase limiting current density of 38%, 23% for FCEM and FAEM respectively, and 19% higher desalination performance than non-nanostructured sulfonated polyphenylene oxide (CEM) and quaternized polyphenylene oxide (AEM) membranes.

Muhammad Farman, Farhat Yasmeen, Muhammad Aamir Shehzad, Hafiz Muhammad Rauf and Muhammad Idrees Jilani