Novel Polyether Based Membrane Materials for CO2/N 2 Separation
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Carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS) is an important approach to mitigate CO2 emission to the air. Membrane technology has been widely explored for CO2 separation and capture from coal power plant derived flue gas, due to its low cost and high energy-efficiency. The key to the success of membrane technology is membranes with high CO2 permeability and high CO2/N2 selectivity. The current leading materials for membrane CO2/N2 separation are poly(ether oxide) (PEO) containing polymers, because ether oxygens can interact favorably with CO2, leading to high CO2 sorption as well as permeability. Given the importance of this application, any improvement in CO2/N2 separation properties can significantly decrease the cost of CO2 capture. The objective of this work is to design and synthesize a series of new polymers containing higher content of ether oxygens than PEO to further improve CO2 permeability and CO2/N2 selectivity. More specifically, novel polymers derived from poly(1, 3 dioxolane) (PDXL) acrylate were synthesized with different molecular weights of 510 g/mol and 1005 g/mol, whose ratio of oxygen to carbon of 0.67 is higher than that in PEO (0.5). These PDXL oligomers were thoroughly characterized using NMR, MS and FTIR. These oligomers were then polymerized by photo-polymerization and the resulting polymers were characterized for gas permeation at different temperatures and pressures. These new polyethers demonstrate their promise for membrane CO2/N2 separation. For example, PDXL (n=5) derived polymer exhibits CO2/N2 selectivity of 82 with CO2 permeability of 100 Barrers at 35 oC.