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Open AccessArticle

Polymer Blends for Improved CO2 Capture Membranes

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Av. Països Catalans, 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
2
Department of Chemicals, Materials and Production Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
3
Chemistry Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTQC), C/Marcel·lí Domingo, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
4
Eurecat, Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya, C/Marcel·lí Domingo, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
5
Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, National Research Council, Via Campi Flegrei 34, 80078 Pozzuoli, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101662
Received: 10 September 2019 / Revised: 8 October 2019 / Accepted: 10 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polymeric Membranes)
We investigated the possibility of improving the performance of polysulfone (PSf) membranes to be used in carbon dioxide capture devices by blending PSf with a commercial polyethylene imine, Lupasol G20, previously modified with benzoyl chloride (mG20). Additive amount ranged between 2 and 20 wt %. Membranes based on these blends were prepared by phase inversion precipitation and exhibited different morphologies with respect to neat PSf. Surface roughness, water contact angles, and water uptake increased with mG20 content. Mass transfer coefficient was also increased for both N2 and CO2; however, this effect was more evident for carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide absorption performance of composite membranes was evaluated for potassium hydroxide solution in a flat sheet membrane contactor (FSMC) in cross flow module at different liquid flow rates. We found that, at the lowest flow rate, membranes exhibit a very similar behaviour to neat PSf; nevertheless, significant differences can be found at higher flow rates. In particular, the membranes with 2 and 5 wt % additive behave more efficiently than neat PSf. In contrast, 10 and 20 wt % additive content has an adverse effect on CO2 capture when compared with neat PSf. In the former case, a combination of additive chemical affinity to CO2 and membrane porosity can be claimed; in the latter case, the remarkably higher wettability and water uptake could determine membrane clogging and consequent loss of efficiency in the capture device. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon dioxide capture; polyethylene imine; polysulfone; artificial stomata carbon dioxide capture; polyethylene imine; polysulfone; artificial stomata
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zare, A.; Perna, L.; Nogalska, A.; Ambrogi, V.; Cerruti, P.; Tylkowski, B.; García-Valls, R.; Giamberini, M. Polymer Blends for Improved CO2 Capture Membranes. Polymers 2019, 11, 1662.

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