Preparation and characterization of SAPO-34 nanoparticles-mixed matrix membranes (MMM) via combined phase separation method for CO2/CH4 gas separation application

H. Jahanbakhsh Asl, M. Soltanieh, R. Azadi
Sharif University of Technology, IR

Keywords: TIPS, NIPS, polyethersulfone, mixed matrix membrane, SAPO-34 nanoparticle


Mixed matrix membranes (MMM) comprising of SAPO-34 zeolite nanoparticles in polyethersulfone (PES) matrix were fabricated via combined TIPS/NIPS phase separation method, which is critical for membrane performance, were synthesized and characterized. The performance of the membranes was tested for separation of CO2 from CH4. Polyethersulfone (PES) flat-sheet membranes were successfully prepared by the combined TIPS/NIPS method in which the membrane forming solution consisted of PES, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) as solvent and phenyl benzoate as diluent. The morphology of these membranes were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to find the optimum conditions for fabrication of the desired MMM for gas separation applications. SAPO-34 zeolite particles, which contribute to the separation properties of MMM membranes, were dispersed in polymeric matrix, which was produced under the optimum condition. In addition to SEM, the morphology of membranes was characterized by thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). MMM’s characterization tests revealed that the desired structure was obtained by the combined TIPS/NIPS phase separation method. Gas permeation tests showed that the fabricated MMM had ideal selectivity of CO2/ CH4 of 80.37 in the best condition, in comparison with ideal selectivity of pure polyethersulfone membrane of 25.08 at 2 bar, more than tripled.