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DE-SC0018181: Design and Study of Hybrid Polyimide-Ionene Architectures for Membrane Separations

Award Status: Active
  • Institution: The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • DUNS: 045632635
  • PM: Wilk, Philip
  • Most Recent Award Date: 08/01/2018
  • Number of Support Periods: 2
  • PI: Bara, Jason
  • Current Budget Period: 08/15/2018 - 08/14/2019
  • Current Project Period: 08/15/2017 - 08/14/2020
  • Supplement Budget Period: N/A

Public Abstract

A number of advanced polymer, inorganic and hybrid materials have been developed in recent years for use as gas separation membranes in the effort to improve upon and streamline energy-intensive and operationally complex separation technologies such as distillation, absorption and adsorption.  Several distinct material classes of membrane materials have emerged, each with its respective set of benefits and limitations. Specifically, polyimides, ionic liquids (ILs), polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs), metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and thermally rearranged (TR) polymers are at the forefront of advanced membrane materials.  This project studies polymer membranes which incorporate the benefits of each of these structurally diverse materials into a single material platform through the synthesis, characterization and membrane studies of hybrid polyimide-ionene architectures.  Hybrid polyimide-ionene materials draw from the advantageous features of each of the aforementioned classes of advanced membrane materials to give rise to new materials that experience unique molecular-level behaviors and synergistic interactions that may benefit membrane performance.


The key objectives of this work are to understand structure-property-performance relationships underlying these new polymer materials through complementary experimental and computational studies. We will generate fundamental knowledge about the molecular design of highly aromatic polyimide-ionene polymers with controlled and regular structures, examine their performances as gas separation membranes in key energy-related separations and utilize simulations to uncover the underlying molecular-level behavior.  The computational studies will provide deep insight into how advanced polymer materials behave at the molecular level, including descriptions of non-covalent crosslinks, cavity formation, gas solubility/diffusion and fractional free volume (FFV).  

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