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Effect of silica nanoparticles on carbon dioxide separation performances of PVA/PEG cross-linked membranes

Muhammad Rizwan Dilshad, Atif Islam, Bilal Haider, Muhammad Sajid, Aamir Ijaz, Rafi Ullah Khan, and Waheed Gul Khan

Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan



Received: 2 August 2020  Accepted: 19 December 2020


Novel PVA/PEG cross-linked membranes were prepared with (0–20 wt. %) of silica nanoparticles. The presence of both the polymers and additive was confirmed by FTIR analysis. The thermal properties of the membranes were analyzed by TGA and DSC analysis. The morphological and mechanical properties of the membranes were studied by SEM analysis and tensile testing, respectively. The gas permeation performances of the membranes were examined using state-of-the-art gas permeability cell. It was found that permeability of all the gases increased with the increase of silica loading, whereas ideal selectivity of carbon dioxide with respect to nitrogen and methane increased up to 10 wt. % loading and then became nearly constant on further loading. 20 wt. % silica loaded membrane was found to be the best performance membrane. The gas permeability of CO2 was also compared with different gas permeation models and was found to be in close agreement with Maxwell Model. The effect of temperature and pressure of feed gas pressure was also studied on permeation performances and optimum performances were achieved around 65 °C. The gas permeation performances were observed to decrease slightly with the increase in feed gas pressure up to 20 bar which confirms the absence of plasticization phenomenon up to 20 bar. Finally, gas permeation performances were compared with 2008 Robeson trade-off lines and it was found that at 20 wt. % loading, gas permeation performances surpassed the trade-off line for CO2/N2, and for CO2/CH4, the gas permeation performances approached the trade-off line.

Keywords: CO2; N2; CO2; CH4; Gas separation membranes; PVA; PEG; Silica nanoparticles

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-020-01486-7


Chemical Papers 75 (7) 3131–3153 (2021)

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