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Top-Down Polyelectrolytes for Membrane-Based Post-Combustion CO2 Capture

UCLouvain—IMMC, Materials & Process Engineering, Place Sainte Barbe 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alberto Figoli and Francesco Galiano
Molecules 2020, 25(2), 323; (registering DOI)
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 13 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Membrane Preparation and Applications)
Polymer-based CO2 selective membranes offer an energy efficient method to separate CO2 from flue gas. ‘Top-down’ polyelectrolytes represent a particularly interesting class of polymer materials based on their vast synthetic flexibility, tuneable interaction with gas molecules, ease of processability into thin films, and commercial availability of precursors. Recent developments in their synthesis and processing are reviewed herein. The four main groups of post-synthetically modified polyelectrolytes discern ionised neutral polymers, cation and anion functionalised polymers, and methacrylate-derived polyelectrolytes. These polyelectrolytes differentiate according to the origin and chemical structure of the precursor polymer. Polyelectrolytes are mostly processed into thin-film composite (TFC) membranes using physical and chemical layer deposition techniques such as solvent-casting, Langmuir-Blodgett, Layer-by-Layer, and chemical grafting. While solvent-casting allows manufacturing commercially competitive TFC membranes, other methods should still mature to become cost-efficient for large-scale application. Many post-synthetically modified polyelectrolytes exhibit outstanding selectivity for CO2 and some overcome the Robeson plot for CO2/N2 separation. However, their CO2 permeance remain low with only grafted and solvent-casted films being able to approach the industrially relevant performance parameters. The development of polyelectrolyte-based membranes for CO2 separation should direct further efforts at promoting the CO2 transport rates while maintaining high selectivities with additional emphasis on environmentally sourced precursor polymers. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyelectrolytes; polymerised ionic liquids; gas separation; CO2 capture; flue gas; quaternisation; self-assembly polyelectrolytes; polymerised ionic liquids; gas separation; CO2 capture; flue gas; quaternisation; self-assembly
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Nikolaeva, D.; Luis, P. Top-Down Polyelectrolytes for Membrane-Based Post-Combustion CO2 Capture. Molecules 2020, 25, 323.

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