Ionic liquids are highly charged compounds with increasing applications in material science. A universal approach to synthesize free-standing, vinylalkylimidazolium bromide-containing membranes with an adjustable thickness is presented. By the variation of alkyl side chains, membrane characteristics such as flux and mechanical properties can be adjusted. The simultaneous use of different ionic liquids (ILs) in the synthesis can also improve the membrane properties. In separation application, these charged materials allowed us to retain charged sugars, such as calcium gluconate, by up to 95%, while similar neutral compounds such as glucose passed the membrane. An analysis of the surface conditions using atomic force microscopy (AFM) confirmed the experimental data and explains the decreasing permeance and increased retention of the charged sugars.
Keywords: membrane casting; membrane surface; nanofiltration; polymeric membranes; polymerized ionic liquids.