In this work, a poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne) (PTMSP) mixed-matrix membrane was fabricated for the selective removal of 1-butanol from aqueous solutions through pervaporation. Silica nanoparticles (SNPs), which were surface-modified with surfactant hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), were incorporated into the structure of the membrane. The modified membrane was characterized by thermogravimetry-differential scanning calorimetry (TG-DSC), contact angle measurements, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis. It was found that the surface hydrophobicity of the membrane was improved when compared to neat PTMSP by contact angle measurement. It was confirmed by SEM analysis that a uniform distribution of surface-modified SNPs throughout the PTMSP membrane was achieved. The thermogravimetric analysis detected the thermal degradation of the modified PTMSP at 370 °C, which is comparable to neat PTMSP. The pervaporation measurements showed a maximum separation factor of 126 at 63 °C for 1.5 w/w% 1-butanol in the feed. The maximum total flux of approximately 1.74 mg·cm−2·min−1 was observed with the highest inspected temperature of 63 °C and at the 1-butanol concentration in the feed 4.5 w/w%. The pervaporation transients showed that the addition of the surface-modified SNPs significantly enhanced the diffusivity of 1-butanol in the composite compared to the neat PTMSP membrane. This improvement was attributed to the influence of the well-dispersed SNPs in the PTMSP matrix, which introduced an additional path for diffusivity.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited