New N-substituted ABPBI: Synthesis and evaluation of gas permeation properties

  • Kumbharkar S
  • Kharul U
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Aromatic poly(2,5-benzimidazole), ABPBI was post-modified for the first time to produce organosoluble N-substituted ABPBI. This modification was carried out by N-substitution of ABPBI with bulky alkyl groups, viz., 4-tert-butylbenzyl and methylene trimethylsilyl in an attempt to utilize high rigidity of ABPBI towards gas permeation. These substituted polymers exhibited solubility in common organic solvents, enhancing their processability than ABPBI, which is soluble only in acidic solvents. Considerable decrease in chain packing density led to increase in gas sorption as that of unsubstituted ABPBI. The permeability of pure gases of commercial significance (He, H2, N2, O2, CH4and CO2) were high, coupled with attractive selectivities. In comparison to conventional PBI, methylene trimethylsilyl substituted ABPBI led to considerably high (33 folds) CO2permeability with almost similar selectivity (PCO2/PN2≈33). Feasibility of these N-substituted ABPBIs to be converted in to required membrane form along with its considerably higher permeation properties depicted the potential of this polymer to be used as gas separation material. Gas diffusion coefficients were estimated from solubility and permeability coefficient. These, along with dual-mode sorption parameters estimated from sorption isotherms provided an insight towards variations in permeation behavior caused by the substitution. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Diffusion
  • Gas permeation
  • N-Substitution
  • Poly(2,5-benzimidazole)
  • Sorption

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