We report a high performance, CO2-philic, alcohol-soluble, comb copolymer consisting of poly(2-[3-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-hydroxyphenyl] ethyl methacrylate) (PBEM) and poly(oxyethylene methacryalate) (POEM) for use in composite membranes for CO2/N2 separation. The PBEM-g-POEM comb copolymer was synthesized via facile free radical polymerization, and the structure was confirmed by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The bimodal nanostructural morphology and amorphous structure of the comb copolymers were observed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). When the PBEM content in the copolymer was below 20wt%, the CO2/N2 selectivity was <4 and the CO2 permeance increased linearly with pressure due to the liquid-like rubbery nature of the POEM chains. When the PBEM content was above 20wt%, the CO2 permeance did not change much with pressure, indicating resistance to plasticization. The best performance was obtained from a membrane with a PBEM:POEM ratio of 20:80wt%, in which the CO2 permeance and CO2/N2 selectivity were 29.3GPU (1GPU=10-6cm3(STP)/(scm2cmHg)) and 73.3, respectively. This performance was much better than that of the composite membrane prepared using commercially available PEBAX (CO2 permeance: 22.9 GPU, CO2/N2 selectivity: 21.8).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Filtration and Separation