Polysulfone membrane reactors for derivatization of carbon nanotubes

S.I. Voicu, A. Muhulet, M. Miculescu, F. Miculescu, S. Vizireanu
University Politehnica from Bucharest,

Keywords: carbon nanotubes, derivatization, membrane reactor, polysulfone


We propose a new method for derivatization of amino carbon nanotubes with enzymes (carbonic anhydrase, invertase, and diastase) and crown ethers amino derivatives using a polysulfone membrane reactor. The principle of method consist in the synthesis of polysulfone-amino carbon nanotubes composite membranes (by phase inversion or solvent evaporation) with controlled porosity, the access of reagents to reactive centres being favoured by diffusion through membrane pores. As linker molecule between amino carbon nanotubes and molecules for derivatization, was chosen cyanuric chloride because after first reaction, the aromatic ring of is deactivated, next reaction step requiring another conditions – on this way reactions between same species are impossible. Derivatized carbon nanotubes from composite membranes were isolated by dissolving the membrane in a proper solvent for its polymer and were characterized separately. Composite membranes were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy, Fourrier Transformed-Infrared Spectroscopy, thermal analysis, solvents permeation, proteins retention (Bovine Serum Albumin and Haemoglobin for enzymes derivatized carbon nanotubes – polysulfone composite membranes), heavy metals retention (lead, copper, for composite membranes with crown ethers derivatized carbon nanotubes – polysulfone composite membranes) and recovered derivatized carbon nanotubes by Fourrier Transformed-Infrared Spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. The use of derivatized carbon nanotubes for sensors manufacturing was also investigated.