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Highly permeable Thermally Rearranged Mixed Matrix Membranes (TR-MMM)
- Smith, Stefan J.D., Hou, Rujing, Lau, Cher Hon, Konstas, Kristina, Kitchin, Melanie, Dong, Guangxi, Lee, Jongmyeong, Lee, Won Hee, Seong, Jong Geun, Lee, Young Moo, Hill, Matthew R.
- Journal of membrane science 2019 v.585 pp. 260-270
- additives, artificial membranes, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nanoparticles, permeability, polymers, thermal stability
- Thermally Rearranged (TR) polymers and Mixed Matrix Membranes (MMMs) are two effective approaches used to advance the performance of gas separation membranes. Conversion of thermally activated groups in TR membranes result in hourglass-shaped cavities and unusually high permselectivity, whereas the inclusion of nanoparticles with engineered pore volume, window size and/or surface chemistry in MMMs can add fast and selective pathways for gas transport. In this study, we explored the effects of combining these two approaches by adding ultra-porous and highly thermostable PAF-1 nanoparticles into the TR-able polymer, 6FDA-HAB5DAM5 (DAM). Gas separation performances of TR-MMMs were evaluated by comparison with the pure polymer and another TR-MMM bearing an already thermally-treated PAF-1 additive (cPAF). While both additives enhanced gas transport, only PAF-1 stabilized the TR conversion reaction and improved the TR-MMM's material properties. Minor variations in cPAF surface changed the TR-MMM interfacial interactions as well as other properties crucial to the application of advanced membrane materials, namely aging, plasticization, and mechanical stability. By combining thermal rearrangement process with PAF-1, TR-MMM demonstrated a 55-fold increase in CO2 gas permeability (37-fold for H2) at similar gas selectivities, but without the handling issues observed for the pure TR polymer membrane.