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Issue 1, 2016

Nanofiller-tuned microporous polymer molecular sieves for energy and environmental processes

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Abstract

Microporous polymers with molecular sieving properties are promising for a wide range of applications in gas storage, molecular separations, catalysis, and energy storage. In this study, we report highly permeable and selective molecular sieves fabricated from crosslinked polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) incorporated with highly dispersed nanoscale fillers, including nonporous inorganic nanoparticles and microporous metal–organic framework (MOF) nanocrystals. We demonstrate that the combination of covalent crosslinking of microporous polymers via controlled thermal oxidation and tunable incorporation of nanofillers results in high-performance membranes with substantially enhanced permeability and molecular sieving selectivity, as demonstrated in separation of gas molecules, for example, air separation (O2/N2), CO2 separation from natural gas (CH4) or flue gas (CO2/N2), and H2 separation from N2 and CH4. After ageing over two years, these nanofiller-tuned molecular sieves became more selective and less permeable but maintained permeability levels that are still two orders of magnitude higher than conventional gas separation membranes.

Graphical abstract: Nanofiller-tuned microporous polymer molecular sieves for energy and environmental processes

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Article information


Submitted
09 Nov 2015
Accepted
25 Nov 2015
First published
25 Nov 2015

This article is Open Access

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016,4, 270-279
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Nanofiller-tuned microporous polymer molecular sieves for energy and environmental processes

Q. Song, S. Cao, R. H. Pritchard, H. Qiblawey, E. M. Terentjev, A. K. Cheetham and E. Sivaniah, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, 4, 270 DOI: 10.1039/C5TA09060A

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

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