Stability of polyethersulfone membranes to oxidative agents: a review

Misgina Tilahun Tsehaye, Svetlozar Velizarov, Bart Van der Bruggen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Polyethersulfone (PES) is one of the most commonly used polymers for preparation of ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes. However, oxidative degradation of PES-based membranes, which results from exposing the membranes to oxidative agents, is limiting their operational lifespan and possible areas of application. Despite the high need for a fundamental understanding of the detailed oxidative degradation mechanism(s) of PES membranes in order to improve the effectiveness of cleaning/disinfecting agents and/or develop PES membranes with a higher tolerance to oxidative agents, it still remains an insufficiently understood topic. Therefore, this review aims at analyzing and critically discussing the recent state-of-the-art on the degradation mechanisms of PES membranes, focusing on the effects of chlorine-based oxidants (mainly NaOCl) and H2O2. Strategies that can be useful for minimizing/preventing oxidative PES membranes attack are presented. Finally, further prospective study possibilities to fill in the existing research gaps in this area are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-33
Number of pages19
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Degradation prevention
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Oxidative degradation mechanism
  • Polyethersulfone membranes
  • Sodium hypochlorite


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