Tuning physicochemical, electrochemical and transport characteristics of polymer inclusion membrane by varying the counter-anion of the ionic liquid Aliquat 336

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Polymer inclusion membranes (PIMs) have been prepared using cellulose triacetate (CTA) as polymer and derivatives of the commercial ionic liquid (IL) Aliquat 336, trioctyl methylammonium chloride (AlqCl), as extractants. The different ILs were prepared by exchanging chloride anion from AlqCl for other more lipophilic anions, obtaining IL derivatives AlqNO 3 and AlqSCN. PIMs containing these extractants at two different concentrations (30% and 60%) were prepared and characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), contact angle and impedance spectroscopy to obtain information on the material properties of both the surface and bulk membranes. The IL counter-anion affects the membrane's electrical parameters (dielectric constant and conductivity) as well as its hydrophobic character, which also depends on the IL concentration in the PIM formulation. Passive transport across the different PIMs using HCl and NaCl aqueous solutions was also considered, and the results obtained seem to be directly related to the hydrophilic/hydrophobic character of the studied membranes ​
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