Indexed on: 27 Dec '18Published on: 13 Dec '18Published in: ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Defect-free MMMs containing novel ionic covalent organic polymer fillers with selective pores and hollow cavities demonstrate a simultaneously increased CO2 permeability, CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 selectivities and operational stability compared to pure polysulfone membranes.Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) have gained great attention for the efficient CO2 removal from raw nature gas or biogas (CO2/CH4 separation) and flue gas (CO2/N2 separation). Nevertheless, the development of high-performance MMMs for industrial applications is largely limited by the lack of suitable porous fillers. Herein, a novel ionic covalent organic polymer (ICOP-1) consisting of gas selective pores and hollow cavities is facilely fabricated using a metal triflate catalyzed condensation reaction. Considering its unique structural properties, ICOP-1 is explored as a novel filler to enhance the gas separation properties of polysulfone (PSf) membranes. Defect-free MMMs are successfully prepared owing to the high polymer–filler affinity originating from the organic nature of these two phases. Besides, the large cavities and size-selective pores of ICOP-1 lead to a simultaneous increase in membrane CO2 permeability and CO2/CH4, CO2/N2 selectivities. With the addition of only 0.5 wt % of ICOP-1 fillers, the as-prepared MMM demonstrates the optimal gas separation performance with a CO2/CH4 selectivity of 39.7 (at a CO2 permeability of 6.19 Barrer) and a CO2/N2 selectivity of 36.7 (at a CO2 permeability of 6.85 Barrer), opening new opportunities in membrane-based industrial CO2 capture applications.