Routes to separation performance enhancement for composite membranes based on linear polyimides

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Aromatic polyimides (PI) exhibit very good chemical and mechanical stability up to 250° C. They also exhibit a high selectivity for membrane separation of small molecules such as H2. The main drawback of PI membranes preventing their wide application (e.g. in membrane reactors) is very low flux of species. Therefore, the principal goal of the project is the enhancement of species flux through membranes without the essential deterioration of selectivity. Our approaches to the flux enhancement are: (i)thinning of the PI layer upon introducing porous supports or armours, (ii) formation of the PI layer upon radial stress, (iii) producing local stress fields by introducing inclusions, (iv) introducing porous inclusions at concentrations near to a percolation threshold. Using image analysis together with computer experiments, we intend to rigorously describe mass transport in composite media in order to optimise two-phase membrane composition.
314, 506
3626, 3866