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Nanoscale Research Letters

, 7:504

First Online: 06 September 2012Received: 12 July 2012Accepted: 28 August 2012


The present work reports on the gas transport behavior of mixed matrix membranes MMM which were prepared from multi-walled carbon nanotubes MWCNTs and dispersed within polymers of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1 matrix. The MWCNTs were chemically functionalized with polyethylene glycol PEG for a better dispersion in the polymer matrix. MMM-incorporating functionalized MWCNTs f-MWCNTs were fabricated by dip-coating method using microporous polyacrylonitrile membrane as a support and were characterized for gas separation performance. Gas permeation measurements show that MMM incorporated with pristine or functionalized MWCNTs exhibited improved gas separation performance compared to pure PIM-1. The f-MWCNTs MMM show better performance in terms of permeance and selectivity in comparison to pristine MWCNTs. The gas permeances of the derived MMM are increased to approximately 50% without sacrificing the selectivity at 2 wt.% of f-MWCNTs- loading. The PEG groups on the MWCNTs have strong interaction with CO2 which increases the solubility of polar gas and limit the solubility of nonpolar gas, which is advantageous for CO2-N2 selectivity. The addition of f-MWCNTs inside the polymer matrix also improved the long-term gas transport stability of MMM in comparison with PIM-1. The high permeance, selectivity, and long term stability of the fabricated MMM suggest that the reported approach can be utilized in practical gas separation technology.

KeywordsMixed matrix membrane Multi-walled carbon nanotubes Polymer of intrinsic microporosity Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1556-276X-7-504 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

An erratum to this article can be found online at 10.1186-1556-276X-9-698.

An erratum to this article is available at

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Autor: Muntazim Munir Khan - Volkan Filiz - Gisela Bengtson - Sergey Shishatskiy - Mushfequr Rahman - Volker Abetz


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