pp 1–16 | Cite as

Improvements in heterogeneous cation exchange membranes by incorporation of Fe2O3 nanoparticles

  • M. Namdari
  • T. KikhavaniEmail author
  • S. N. Ashrafizadeh
  • B. Van der Bruggen
Original Paper


Ion exchange membranes are the heart of the electrodialysis process which is a well-known water treatment technology. Herein, a heterogeneous cation exchange membrane (CEM) is synthesized by using a polymeric blend and the effects of Fe2O3 and sulfate-functionalized (s-Fe2O3) nanoparticles incorporation on the properties of the membranes were investigated. The addition of Fe2O3 nanoparticles caused a reduction in electrical resistance up to 53%. Moreover, the ion exchanged capacity (IEC) and permselectivity were improved by 34% and 42%, respectively. Meanwhile, by sulfonation of the Fe2O3 nanoparticles, further cation exchange groups were introduced to the nanoparticles structure which significantly improved the membrane properties. Through addition of 0.5 wt% s-Fe2O3 nanoparticles to the CEM matrix, a 45% reduction in the electrical resistance, and 45% and 43% enhancement in the IEC and permselectivity were obtained, respectively.

Graphical abstract


Heterogeneous cation exchange membrane Sulfate Fe2O3 Nanoparticle PVC/HIPS/ABS binder 



This project received financial support from the research council at Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Namdari
    • 1
  • T. Kikhavani
    • 2
    Email author
  • S. N. Ashrafizadeh
    • 1
  • B. Van der Bruggen
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Laboratory for Advanced Separation Processes, Department of Chemical EngineeringIran University of Science and TechnologyTehranIran
  2. 2.Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringIlam UniversityIlamIran
  3. 3.ProcESS - Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems, Department of Chemical EngineeringKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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