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Influence of non-solvent chemistry on polybenzimidazole hollow fiber membrane preparation

Dahe, Ganpat J., Singh, Rajinder P., Dudeck, Kevin W., Yang, Dali, Berchtold, Kathryn A.
Journal of membrane science 2019 v.577 pp. 91-103
artificial membranes, carbon dioxide, coagulants, diffusivity, hydrogen, mass transfer, solubility, solvents, temperature
Polybenzimidazole membrane materials have attractive H2/CO2 separation characteristics and high thermo-chemical stability for elevated temperature synthesis (syn) gas separations. The development of PBI membranes with a thin defect-free selective layer and porous support morphology is vital to achieving industrially attractive separation performance. This work is focused on developing a fundamental understanding of the liquid-liquid demixing-based phase inversion process for asymmetric PBI hollow fiber membrane (HFM) formation. The development of industrially attractive HFMs is a challenging process due to the complex interplay between phase equilibria, phase inversion kinetics, and interfacial mass transfer that exist during the liquid-liquid demixing process. Numerous parameters including the dope, bore, and outer coagulant chemistries and compositions significantly influence the HFM morphologies produced. Here, a systematic study is conducted to investigate the phase inversion process parameters including the roles of the non-solvent solubility and diffusivity parameters with respect to the solvent and PBI on the phase inversion process. Furthermore, the influence of dope, bore and coagulant chemistries and compositions on PBI HFM morphology are investigated. The fabricated PBI HFMs are evaluated for their ideal H2 and CO2 permeance and H2/CO2 selectivity at 250 °C to benchmark their separation performance.