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Blending of compatible polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1) with Tröger's Base polymer for gas separation membranes

Zhao, Shasha, Liao, Jiayou, Li, Danfeng, Wang, Xiaodong, Li, Nanwen
Journal of membrane science 2018 v.566 pp. 77-86
X-ray diffraction, artificial membranes, carbon dioxide, methane, mixing, moieties, nitrogen, permeability, polymers, scanning electron microscopy, temperature
The novel gas separation membranes have been prepared by blending highly gas permeable polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1) and with Tröger's Base polymer (TB). Interestingly, it was found firstly that the PIM-1 polymer was miscible with Tröger's Base polymer in any proportion. It was assumed that the excellent compatibility between two polymers could be attributed to the interaction between CN group in PIM-1 and N atoms in Tröger's Base moieties, as confirmed by ATR-IR results. Thus, flexible, tough and transparent blending membranes (PIM/TB) at different compositions between PIM-1 and TB were obtained by solution casting. The SEM results further confirmed the homogeneous morphology of blending membranes, indicating the excellent compatibility between two polymers. The gas separation performance testing by the volume-constant method suggested that the PIM/TB blending membrane showed lower pure gas permeability but higher ideal permselectivity than that of the pristine PIM-1 membrane, probably due to the lower d-spacing of TB polymers from commercial aromatic diamine which has a rotatable bond as confirmed by XRD results. The highest ideal permselectivity of CO2/CH4 was obtained for PIM/TB (6:4) membranes with CO2 permeability of 2585Barrer. Moreover, the excellent anti-plasticization ability of CO2 was observed for the blending membranes. The temperature dependence of gas separation and ideal permselectivity had also been observed for the membranes. The results suggested that the ideal permselectivity, particularly for the CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 at lower temperature were much higher than that of the membrane at high temperature in spite of the decreasing permeability of CO2. The highest ideal permselectivity was achieved as high as 54.3 for CO2/N2 at − 25 ℃ for PIM/TB(8:2) membrane. Thus, the strategy of blending Tröger's Base with PIM-1 showed a promising approach for high performance gas separation membrane.