CO2-Philic Thin Film Composite Membranes: Synthesis and Characterization of PAN-r-PEGMA Copolymer

Abstract
In this work, we report the successful fabrication of CO2-philic polymer composite membranes using a polyacrylonitrile-r-poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PAN-r-PEGMA) copolymer. The series of PAN-r-PEGMA copolymers with various amounts of PEG content was synthesized by free radical polymerization in presence of AIBN initiator and the obtained copolymers were used for the fabrication of composite membranes. The synthesized copolymers show high molecular weights in the range of 44-56 kDa. We were able to fabricate thin film composite (TFC) membranes by dip coating procedure using PAN-r-PEGMA copolymers and the porous PAN support membrane. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were applied to analyze the surface morphology of the composite membranes. The microscopy analysis reveals the formation of the defect free skin selective layer of PAN-r-PEGMA copolymer over the porous PAN support membrane. Selective layer thickness of the composite membranes was in the range of 1.32-1.42 mu m. The resulting composite membrane has CO2 a permeance of 1.37 x 10(-1) m(3)/m(2).h.bar and an ideal CO2/N-2, selectivity of 65. The TFC membranes showed increasing ideal gas pair selectivities in the order CO2/N-2 > CO2/CH4 > CO2/H-2. In addition, the fabricated composite membranes were tested for long-term single gas permeation measurement and these membranes have remarkable stability, proving that they are good candidates for CO2 separation.

Citation
(2017) CO2-Philic Thin Film Composite Membranes: Synthesis and Characterization of PAN-r-PEGMA Copolymer. Polymers 9: 219. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym9070219.

Acknowledgements
Authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Publisher
MDPI AG

Journal
Polymers

DOI
10.3390/polym9070219

Additional Links
http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4360/9/7/219

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