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CO2/CH4 separation using mixed matrix membrane-based polyurethane incorporated with ZIF-8 nanoparticles

Maryam Gholami, Toraj Mohammadi, Samira Mosleh, and Mahmood Hemmati

Research and Technology Centre for Membrane Processes, Chemical Engineering Department, Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Tehran, Iran



Abstract: This study presents using zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) as porous filler dispersed phase and polyurethane (PU) as continuous phase to synthesis mixed matrix membranes (MMMs). ZIF-8 nanoparticles were synthesized using centrifugal method. The synthesized nanoparticles were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). In order to investigate the effect of ZIF-8 loading on the membrane performance in CO2/CH4 separation, different membranes were prepared with various amounts of ZIF-8 (0–50 wt%). Membranes properties were characterized by SEM, XRD, TGA, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and tensile analysis. SEM images exhibit that the ZIF-8 is dispersed uniformly in cross section of membrane. Thermal stability of membranes increases with addition of the ZIF-8 nanoparticles into the polymer matrix. Both tensile strength and strain at break in the MMMs increase with the ZIF-8 loading. To study the effect of feed pressure on CO2 and CH4 transport properties of the membranes, single gas experiments were conducted at 4, 8, and 12 bar feed pressures. Incorporation of ZIF-8 crystals into continuous PU matrix resulted in high-performance gas separation membranes. Increasing feed pressure, significantly, increased separation performances in all the membranes.

Keywords: Membrane gas separation; Mixed matrix membrane (MMM); Polyurethane (PU); Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8)

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-017-0177-9


Chemical Papers 71 (10) 1839–1853 (2017)

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