Natural gas purification by zeolite filled polyethersulfone based mixed matrix membranes

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009




This research investigates the effect of feed composition on the separation performance of pure polyethersulfone (PES) and different types of PES based mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) in order to develop high performing membranes for CO2/CH4 separation. MMMs were prepared by solvent evaporation method using PES as the polymer matrix with SAPO-34 particles as fillers, and 2-hydroxy 5-methyl aniline (HMA) as the low molecular weight additive. Four types of membranes were used throughout the study, namely pure PES membrane, PES/HMA (4, 10%w/w) membrane, PES/SAPO-34 (20%w/w) MMM, PES/SAPO-34 (20%w/w)/HMA (4, 10%w/w) MMM. The effect of CO2 composition on the performance of the membranes was investigated in detail with a wide feed composition range changing between 0 and 100%. In addition to separating CO2/CH4 binary gas mixtures, the separation performances of these membranes were determined by measuring single gas permeabilities at 35ºC, with a feed pressure of 3 bar. Moreover, the membranes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermal gravimetric analyzer (TGA). The separation selectivities of all types of membranes generally observed to be independent of feed composition. The composition independency of these membranes eliminates the need of investigating at which feed gas composition the prepared membranes are best performing for practical applications. PES/SAPO-34/HMA MMMs with HMA loading of 10% and SAPO-34 loading of 20% demonstrated the highest separation selectivity of about 40, and the ideal selectivity of 44, among the used membranes.