Gas permeation through PSF-PI miscible blend membranes

  • Kapantaidakis G
  • Kaldis S
  • Dabou X
 et al. 
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The permeation rates of He, H2, CO2, N2and O2, are reported for a series of miscible polysulfone-polyimide (PSF-PI) blend membranes synthesized in our laboratory. For gases which do not interact with the polymer matrix (such as He, H2, N2and O2), gas permeabilities in the miscible blends vary monotonically between those of the pure polymers and can be described by simple mixture equations. In the case of CO2, which interacts with PI, blend permeabilities decrease somewhat, compared to pure PSF and PI. This, however, is accompanied by a two-fold improvement in the critical pressures of plasticization vs. polyimide. Permselectivities of CO2/N2and H2/CO2in the blends deviate from mixing theory predictions, in contrast to selectivities of gas pairs which do not interact with PI. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements of pure and PSF/PI blend membranes show one unique glass transition temperature, supporting the miscible character of the PSF/PI mixture. Optical micrographs of the blend membranes clearly indicate perfect homogenization and no phase separation. Frequency shifts and absorption intensity changes in the FTIR spectra of the blends, as compared with those of the pure polymers, indicate mixing at the molecular level. This compatibility in mixing PSF and PI, results essentially in a new blend polymer material, suitable for the preparation of gas separation membranes. Such membranes combine satisfactory gas permeation properties, reduced cost, advanced resistance to harsh chemical and temperature environments, and improved tolerance to plasticizing gases.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Blend membranes
  • Gas permeation
  • Hydrogen
  • Polyimide
  • Polysulfone

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  • G. G. Kapantaidakis

  • S. P. Kaldis

  • X. S. Dabou

  • G. P. Sakellaropoulos

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