Pervaporation Membranes Based on Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity

  • Lei Gao

Student thesis: Phd


This project aimed to explore the application of representative of polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs), PIM-1 in pervaporation (PV) for alcohol recovery. In the first part, PIM-1 was synthesized using the high temperature method. A free-standing PIM-1 membrane was fabricated and assessed for the alcohol recovery, it is conclude that the performance of a PIM-1 membrane (both flux and selectivity) in separation of butanol/water is superior to that of ethanol/water. For the improvement of membrane total flux to meet the demands of industrial application, PIM-1 based thin film composite (TFC) membranes were fabricated. Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) support materials were prepared, the impressive flux of 9.08 kg m2 h1 is obtained via PVDF coated in PIM-1 solution, while maintaining the separation factor of 13.3, which is superior to the performance of a commercial PDMS membrane In the second part, various PIM-1 based mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) were prepared for the improvement of membrane performance. Different types of filler (graphene, Fe3O4 and organosilicon network) were incorporated into the PIM-1 matrix. The PIM-1/graphene mixture was obtained by liquid phase exfoliation of graphite with PIM-1 polymer as stabilizer, PIM-1/graphene MMMs were prepared and assessed in the pervaporation of butanol/water. A small amount of graphene loading (around 0.018 wt%) in MMMs enable the enhancement of flux (2.03 kg m-2 h-1); Fe3O4 nanoparticles were prepared by a chemical coprecipitation technique and modified by oleic acid (OA), magnetic treatment of PIM-1/Fe3O4 dispersions confirms Fe3O4 nanoparticles generate heat under external AC driven magnetic field. The experimental flux result is slightly lower than the theoretical result predicted via Maxwell model; Organosilicon network was prepared using phenyltrimethoxysilane (PhTMS) as a precursor to generate an organosilicon network via hydrolysis and condensation. The morphologies of PIM-1 based MMMs were assessed by SEM and the membrane PV performance (flux and selectivity) was also tested. The incorporation of PhTMS and PPhS do not improve the flux and separation factor of the membrane as expected.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorPeter Budd (Supervisor) & Cinzia Casiraghi (Supervisor)


  • polymers of intrinsic microporosity
  • pervaporation

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