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Sustainable and Advanced Membranes By Aqueous Phase Separation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SAMBA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 7522 NB

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2021-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT TWENTE NL (ENSCHEDE) coordinator 1˙500˙000.00


 Project objective

Membranes play a critical role in the production of safe drinking water and in the treatment of human waste streams. However, membranes themselves are nearly always produced using costly, harmful and environmentally unfriendly aprotic solvents such as N-methyl-pyrrolidone (NMP), dimethylformamide (DMF), or dimethylacetamide (DMAC). This proposal describes a highly novel approach allowing the production of the next generation of advanced membranes without the need to use any organic solvents. Here we make use of so-called responsive polymers that can switch under aqueous conditions from a hydrophilic to a hydrophobic state by a simple change of, for example, pH. In the hydrophilic state, water dissolves the polymers and the so obtained solution can be cast as a thin film. Sudden immersion in a bath at a pH where the polymer becomes hydrophobic, leads to very sudden phase separation whereby the polymer coagulates into a porous film, a membrane. Control over the kinetics of this aqueous phase separation process allows for the fabrication of a large variety of porous structures. Furthermore, this process also works for two oppositely charged polymers, where polyelectrolyte complexation is used to induce phase separation. Crosslinking will be a natural way to guarantee membrane stability but can also be used to further modify/improve membranes. The very nature of this aqueous phase separation process is such that membrane additives that are typically associated with advanced membranes (responsive polymers, enzymes, polyzwitterions, metallic nanoparticles) can readily be incorporated. As such, aqueous phase separation not only allows solvent free membrane production, it also provides a very simple and versatile route for the production of membranes with advanced properties. Finally, the porous structures and novel materials developed within this project could be directly useful for other applications, ranging from adsorption processes and coatings to biomedical materials.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Joshua D. Willott, Wouter M. Nielen, Wiebe M. de Vos
Stimuli-Responsive Membranes through Sustainable Aqueous Phase Separation
published pages: , ISSN: 2637-6105, DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.9b01006
ACS Applied Polymer Materials 2020-02-06
2019 Esra te Brinke, Dennis M. Reurink, Iske Achterhuis, Joris de Grooth, Wiebe M. de Vos
Asymmetric polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes with ultrathin separation layers for highly efficient micropollutant removal
published pages: 100471, ISSN: 2352-9407, DOI: 10.1016/j.apmt.2019.100471
Applied Materials Today 2020-02-06
2020 Esra te Brinke, Iske Achterhuis, Dennis M. Reurink, Joris de Grooth, Wiebe M. de Vos
Multiple Approaches to the Buildup of Asymmetric Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Membranes for Efficient Water Purification
published pages: , ISSN: 2637-6105, DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.9b01038
ACS Applied Polymer Materials 2020-02-06
2019 Dennis M. Reurink, Esra te Brinke, Iske Achterhuis, Hendrik D. W. Roesink, Wiebe M. de Vos
Nafion-Based Low-Hydration Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Membranes for Enhanced Water Purification
published pages: 2543-2551, ISSN: 2637-6105, DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.9b00689
ACS Applied Polymer Materials 1/9 2020-02-06
2019 Dennis M Reurink, Esra te Brinke, Iske Achterhuis, Hendrik Roesink, Wiebe M. de Vos
Nafion-based low hydrated polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes for enhanced water purification
published pages: , ISSN: 2637-6105, DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.9b00689
ACS Applied Polymer Materials 2019-08-29
2018 Dennis M. Reurink, Jord P. Haven, Iske Achterhuis, Saskia Lindhoud, Erik H. D. W. Roesink, Wiebe M. de Vos
Annealing of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers for Control over Ion Permeation
published pages: 1800651, ISSN: 2196-7350, DOI: 10.1002/admi.201800651
Advanced Materials Interfaces 5/20 2019-08-29

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