High-flux CO2 separation using thin-film composite polyether block amide membranes fabricated by transient-filler treatment

Chae Young Park, Chang In Kong, Eun Young Kim, Chang Ha Lee, Ki Suk Kim, Jae Hyeok Lee, Jongmyeong Lee, Su Young Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An energy-efficient and eco-friendly membrane-based CO2 separation process is required to address global concerns pertaining to energy and environment. In this context, polymer materials such as polyimides, polyvinyl alcohol, and polyether block amide (PEBA) have been intensively explored, and a high CO2 selectivity has been attained; however, these membranes exhibit a low permeance, thereby hindering process efficiency. Gas permeance depends mainly on the thickness and morphology of the selective layer; but it is difficult to overcome the limitation of the intrinsic permeability of the polymer material by controlling the thickness of the selective layer. Herein, we report a method for manufacturing thin-film composite (TFC) membranes with a defect-free, ultrathin, and highly permeable selective layer through transient-filler (TF) treatment consisting of blending a TF/polymer matrix and then removing the TF. Polyethylene glycol (PEG), used as the TF, was homogeneously blended through hydrogen bonding with the polymer matrix, PEBA. The blended membrane, PEG/PEBA, possessed a less crystalline structure than that of PEBA and a large free volume, thereby exhibiting a high gas permeance. After the removal of the TF from PEG/PEBA, the resultant PEBA (r-PEBA) retained the less crystalline structure, and the thickness of the selective layer decreased substantially. The permeance of the r-PEBA TFC membrane, 2371 GPU, was substantially higher than that of neat PEBA, 1350 GPU, owing to the aforementioned synergistic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140883
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was performed under Project No. BSF22-504 (Development of the reaction-separation hybrid platform to improve the efficiency of the catalytic reaction) and Project No. SI2111-30 (Development of economical low-carbon hydrogen production and storage technology from low-value carbon resources) supported by the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) and Project No. 1711133846 supported by the Korea Institute of Toxicology (KIT), Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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