Thin Film Composite Membranes Comprising Amorphous Poly(ethylene oxide) for Carbon Capture
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Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) based polymers are the leading materials for membrane CO2 capture from coal-fired power plant flue gas because CO2 can interact favorably with ether oxygen, leading to high CO2 permeability and high CO2/N2 selectivity. In this study, high molecular weight PEO-based polymers were synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) reaction and were amorphous to retain high CO2 permeability. 1H NMR confirmed the chemical structure of new PEO-based polymers, and physical properties of polymers and film were determined, including density, water contact angle, and glass transition temperature. These new films have promising CO2/N2 separation performance. For example, one sample exhibits pure-gas CO2 permeability of 1000 Barrer and CO2/N2 selectivity of 34 at 35 oC. These materials were further fabricated into thin film composite membranes with Teflon AF2400 as the gutter layer. Preliminary results show that the membrane had CO2 permeance of 114 GPU and CO2/N2 selectivity of 24 at 35 oC. Future work will aim to improve the compatibility of the gutter layer and coating solutions to increase gas permeance.