A highly selective PEGBEM-g-POEM comb copolymer membrane for CO2/N2 separation

Cheol Hun Park, Jae Hun Lee, Jung Pyo Jung, Bumsuk Jung, Jong Hak Kim

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41 Citations (Scopus)


A series of amphiphilic comb copolymers composed of poly(ethylene glycol) behenyl ether methacrylate (PEGBEM) and poly(oxyethylene methacrylate) (POEM) were synthesized via an economical and facile free radical polymerization. The synthesis of comb copolymers was confirmed by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) spectroscopy. The microphase-separated morphology and crystalline structure of the comb copolymers were controllable by the copolymer composition, as characterized using wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and atomic force microscope (AFM). Due to good solubility in ethanol, the PEGBEM-g-POEM comb copolymers could be directly coated onto a microporous polysulfone support to prepare composite membranes. The maximum CO2/N2 selectivity of the PEGBEM-g-POEM membrane reached 84.7, which is much higher than that of commercially available Pebax (17.0) and is one of the highest values reported for a polymer membrane under no humidified condition. The CO2 permeance through the PEGBEM-g-POEM membrane (21.9 GPU, 1 GPU=10-6cm3(STP)/(scm2cmHg)) was also slightly higher than that through Pebax membrane (20.5 GPU) at similar membrane thickness. •A highly CO2-philic, alcohol-soluble PEGBEM-g-POEM comb copolymer was synthesized.•Crystalline structure of PEGBEM-g-POEM was controllable by copolymer composition.•The maximum CO2/N2 selectivity of the PEGBEM-g-POEM membrane reached 84.7.•This selectivity is much higher than commercially available Pebax membrane (17.0).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-460
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge financial support from the Korea CCS R&D Center (2013M1A8A1035871),the Human Resources Program in Energy Technology (20154010200810) and the Energy Efficiency & Resources of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) ( 20122010100040 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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