Effects of hydroxyl-functionalization and sub-Tg thermal annealing on high pressure pure- and mixed-gas CO2/CH4 separation by polyimide membranes based on 6FDA and triptycene-containing dianhydrides
KAUST DepartmentAdvanced Membranes and Porous Materials Research Center
Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Chemical and Biological Engineering Program
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AbstractA sub-Tg thermally-annealed (250°C, 24h) ultra-microporous PIM-polyimide bearing a 9,10-diisopropyl-triptycene contortion center and hydroxyl-functionalized diamine (2,2-bis(3-amino-4-hydroxyphenyl)-hexafluoropropane, APAF) exhibited plasticization resistance up to 50bar for a 1:1 CO2/CH4 feed mixture, with a 9-fold higher CO2 permeability (30Barrer) and 2-fold increase in CO2/CH4 permselectivity (~50) over conventional dense cellulose acetate membranes at 10bar CO2 partial pressure. Interestingly, mixed-gas CO2/CH4 permselectivities were 10-20% higher than those evaluated under pure-gas conditions due to reduction of mixed-gas CH4 permeability by co-permeation of CO2. Gas transport, physisorption and fluorescence studies indicated a sieving pore-structure engaged in inter-chain charge transfer complexes (CTCs), similar to that of low-free-volume 6FDA-APAF polyimide. The isosteric heat of adsorption of CO2 as well as CO2/CH4 solubility selectivities varied negligibly upon replacement of OH with CH3 but CTC formation was hindered, CO2 sorption increased, CO2 permeability increased ~3-fold, CO2/CH4 permselectivity dropped to ~30 and CH4 mixed-gas co-permeation increased. These results suggest that hydroxyl-functionalization did not cause preferential polymer-gas interactions but primarily elicited diffusion-dominated changes owing to a tightened microstructure more resistant to CO2-induced dilations. Solution-processable hydroxyl-functionalized PIM-type polyimides provide a new platform of advanced materials that unites the high selectivities of low-free-volume polymers with the high permeabilities of PIM-type materials particularly for natural gas sweetening applications.
SponsorsThe authors acknowledge KAUST funding for Prof. Ingo Pinnau, Dr. Youssef Belmabkhout is thanked for helpful discussions on sorption experiments. Dr. Osama Shekhah and Agnes Sweileh contributed to helpful discussions on fluorescence experiments.
JournalJournal of Membrane Science