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Preparation, characterization and gas permeation properties of a polycaprolactone based polyurethane-silica nanocomposite membrane

Sadeghi, Morteza, Mehdi Talakesh, Mohammad, Ghalei, Behnam, Shafiei, Mohammadreza
Journal of membrane science 2013 v.427 pp. 21-29
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, artificial membranes, carbon dioxide, gases, hydrolysis, methane, models, nanocomposites, nanoparticles, nitrogen, oxygen, permeability, polymerization, polyurethanes, scanning electron microscopes, scanning electron microscopy, silica, sol-gel processing, temperature, thermogravimetry
The effect of silica nanoparticles on the gas permeation properties of polycaprolactone-based polyurethane membranes was investigated. Polyurethane and polyurethane-silica nanocomposite membranes were prepared by solution blending and casting-evaporation methods. Silica nanoparticles were prepared by sol–gel method using hydrolysis of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS). Polyurethane was synthesized by bulk two-step polymerization, including polycaprolactone 2000(PCL)/hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI)/1,4-butanediol (BDO). The homogeneity and nano scale distribution of the prepared polyurethane-silica membranes were characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). Gas permeation properties of these membranes with different silica contents, was studied for pure CO₂, CH₄, N₂ and O₂ gases. The results showed reduction in gas permeability, but enhancement in CO₂/N₂, CO₂/CH₄ and O₂/N₂ ideal selectivity. Also the effect of temperature and pressure on permeation properties of these membranes was investigated. The modified Higuchi model was applied to predict the permeability of polyurethane-silica nanocomposite membranes. Good agreement between the experimental data and the predicted gas permeability was obtained.