Star polymer-assembled adsorptive membranes for effective Cr(VI) removal

Joon Hee Jo, Seung Su Shin, Sungkwon Jeon, Sung Joon Park, Hosik Park, You In Park, Jung Hyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


There is a strong demand for materials that can effectively remove highly toxic hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) ions from wastewater. Herein, we present a new class of Cr(VI)-adsorptive membranes assembled with a Cr(VI)-adsorptive and cross-linkable star polymer. The poly(acryloyl hydrazide)-branched star polymer (PAH-SP) with numerous amine groups enabled rapid and high-capacity Cr(VI) adsorption and was suitable for assembly into a selective layer via interfacial polymerization (IP). The IP-assembled PAH-SP (PAH-TFC) membrane synergistically rejected Cr(VI) over the entire pH range via a combination of adsorption (under acidic conditions) and membrane filtration (under basic conditions). Furthermore, the PAH-TFC membrane was more resistant to oxidation by acidic Cr(VI) than commercial reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration membranes because of the self-sacrificing effect of its abundant amine groups. Consequently, PAH-TFC exhibited significantly higher Cr(VI) rejection (∼99.5% at pH 3) under acidic conditions than a representative commercial RO membrane (Cr(VI) rejection of ∼55% at pH 3) with similar water permeance, while demonstrating comparable Cr(VI) rejection under basic conditions. Furthermore, PAH-TFC displayed excellent regeneration ability, maintaining its Cr(VI) rejection above the commercial RO level by proper base/acid rinsing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137883
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (2019R1A2C1002333, 2022R1A5A1032539, and SI2211-40) and the Technology Innovation Program (20010914) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Adsorbent
  • Adsorptive membrane
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Interfacial polymerization
  • Star polymer
  • Thin film composite membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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