Solvent-Free Preparation of Electrically Conductive Polyetherimide Membranes Using Carbon Nanotubes


A chemical-free option to reduce membrane fouling is the use of electrical fields for membranes. To maximize the strength of the electric field in compact membrane module constructions, electrically conductive membranes are preferred to only conductive supports. Conductive, porous membranes are sintered from polyetherimide powder particles that are surface-covered with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). The fusion of the surface-covered particles forms a conductive MWCNT network in the composite, with a large number of inter-MWCNT contacts. Membranes with a high specific electrical conductivity of up to 2.28 Sm−1 at a concentration of 3.0 wt% MWCNT are produced in an adapted sintering process. The sintering behavior of decorated particles depends on the coverage of the polymer particles.
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