Acid-free fabrication of polyaryletherketone membranes

Sandra L. Aristizábal, Lakshmeesha Upadhyaya, Gheorghe Falca, Abaynesh Yihdego Gebreyohannes, Mohammed Omer Aijaz, Mohammad Rezaul Karim, Suzana P. Nunes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Polyaryletherketones (PAEKs) are a class of ultrahigh performance polymers with outstanding temperature and chemical resistance. Poly(ether ketone ketone) copolymer (Kepstan®) and poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) display intrinsic insolubility in nearly all organic solvents. The primary issue for the application of these polymers is their processability which requires a high temperature/pressure-based technique, or the use of harsh and corrosive solvents, like methanesulfonic and sulfuric acid, resulting in sulfonation of the polymer backbone that adversely might affect their chemical stability. In this work, we propose a method to prepare porous Kepstan® and PEEK membranes using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) as solvent at room temperature. It consisted of a modification-regeneration strategy to turn commercial semi-crystalline Kepstan® and PEEK into dithiolane soluble derivatives that allow the fabrication of hollow fiber, flat-sheet, and electrospun nanofibers. The resulting membranes are then regenerated to the solvent-resistant materials. The novel Kepstan® and PEEK hollow fibers exhibited a N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) permeance of 2.21 and 2.05 L m−2 h−2 bar−1, with more than 90% rejection of Crystal Violet (408 g mol−1) and Methyl Orange (327 g mol−1), respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120798
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Oct 15 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Research Funding (grant number: REP/1/3848-01 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Hollow fiber
  • Organic solvent nanofiltration
  • Poly(ether ether ketone)
  • poly(ether ketone ketone)
  • Solvent-resistant membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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