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DE-SC0018181: High Performance Ionene Architectures for Membrane Separations

Award Status: Active
  • Institution: The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • DUNS: 045632635
  • PM: Matuszak, Daniel
  • Most Recent Award Date: 09/02/2020
  • Number of Support Periods: 4
  • PI: Bara, Jason
  • Current Budget Period: 09/01/2020 - 08/31/2021
  • Current Project Period: 09/01/2020 - 08/31/2021
  • Supplement Budget Period: N/A

Public Abstract

Membranes show promise for improved energy efficiency in separations processes such as CO2 capture from point sources, natural gas sweetening, syngas processing, olefin/paraffin and air separations.  Improvements to these separations have the potential to reducing energy consumption, costs of products and services, and greenhouse gas emissions.  To this end, a number of advanced polymer, inorganic and hybrid materials have been developed in recent years 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.  A new hybrid material platform, aromatic polyimide-ionenes, has emerged in recent years and integrates the structural units associated with the aforementioned classes of membrane materials into a single polymer backbone. 

The present research is a renewal project.  Under the prior award period for this research, structure-property-performance relationships have been developed for aromatic polyimide-ionenes and provided a deeper fundamental understanding of how to construct a range of high-performance (HP) ionenes.  The key objectives of this renewal project is to rationally design, synthesize, and characterize HP ionenes (and composites with ILs) that enable highly efficient membrane-based gas separations.  The overall goal is to tailor material composition to maximize performance for any target gas separation application.  Complementary computational studies provide deeper insight into how advanced polymer materials behave at the molecular level, considering non-covalent crosslinks, cavity formation, gas solubility/diffusion and fractional free volume. 

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