Incorporation of polar functional moieties into polyethylene (PE) film has been achieved by graft copolymerization of polar monomers such as methacrylic acid (MAAc) and acrylamide (AAm) on to PE film, preirradiated with γ-rays from 60 Co source, using benzoyl peroxide (BPO) as initiator in aqueous medium. Percentage of grafting of MAAc and AAm was determined as a function of irradiation dose, monomer and initiator concentration, temperature, reaction time and amount of water. Maximum percentage of grafting of MAAc (1453%) and AAm (21.28%) was obtained at (MAAc) = 235.3 x 10 -2 mol/L, (AAm) = 23.4 x 10 -2 mol/L, (BPO) = 5.5 x 10 -2 mol/L and 16.5 x 10 -2 mol/L at 80°C, 90°C in 180 min and 90 min respectively. The grafted PE films were characterized by FTIR, Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) Scanning Electron Micrography (SEM) and X-ray diffraction methods. Some selective properties of grafted films such as swelling behavior, ion and metal uptake have been carried out. The biodegradation studies of the grafted PE films have also been investigated. The grafted films developed superior swelling behavior with maximum swelling (480%) in water as compared to pristine PE (13.55%), better thermal stability and ion and metal uptake studies showed promising results that can be effectively used for desalination of brackish water and separation of metals from the industrial effluents.

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