Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Polyimide-SiO2-TiO2 Nanocomposite Gas Separation Membranes
Polymers are highly attractive for many industrial separation efforts due to their low cost, processing flexibility, and desired physical properties. Despite these advantages, an 'upper bound' relationship exists that poses a challenge with improving the selectivity and permeability of polymer membranes. In addition, gas selectivity for polymeric membranes is typically lower than for inorganic membranes. These challenges can be overcome by utilizing [6F-DABA]-[SiO2-TiO2] hybrid organic-inorganic nanocomposite membranes, which offer new material possibilities. This is possible due to synergistically combining the desirable physical properties of organic polymers, and the separation characteristics of an inorganic material to create a hybrid membrane. The [6F-DABA]-[SiO2-TiO2] nanocomposite membranes in this research had a higher concentration of benzoic acid along the polyimide's backbone. Compared to pure polyimides, this demonstrated significant improvements in gas separation. However, the presence of [SiO2] reduced both the membrane's permeability and selectivity. In addition, all inorganic nanoparticles reduced the permeability of the membrane.
In this work, it has been revealed that nanocomposite membranes with designed compositions have much better gas separation performance than pure polyimides. The significance of this work is that the study of [6F-DABA]-[SiO2-TiO2} nanocomposite membranes will open a new avenue for the exploration of hybrid inorganic-organic materials for use in gas separation based upon controlled mixing of ceramic [SiO2-TiO2] nanodomains via sol-gel chemistry.
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