Laccase-catalyzed modification of PES membranes with 4-hydroxybenzoic acid and gallic acid

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We here report on the performance of poly(ethersulfone) membranes modified with 4-hydroxybenzoic acid and gallic acid as substrates, and using laccase as biocatalyst under several modification conditions. The average flux of the base membrane was never reduced more than 20% (mostly below 10% reduction) by modification with 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, and not more than 9% for gallic acid. The mechanical and thermal properties of the membrane were not adversely affected by the modification method. For 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, longer modification times (i.e., hours) and higher substrate concentrations lead to modified membranes with a better protein repellence. The reaction with gallic acid is faster, but less effective in terms of the resulting protein repellence. In conclusion, the laccase-catalyzed modification of poly(ethersulfone) membranes is a mild method with low environmental impact that leads to effective protein repellence while keeping the bulk properties of the base membrane intact. This makes laccase-catalyzed modification an interesting alternative for currently used membrane modification methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue numberMarch
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • ultrafiltration membranes
  • surface modification
  • fungal laccases
  • green chemistry
  • water
  • ph
  • purification
  • adsorption
  • copolymers
  • conversion


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