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Gas separation with polymeric membranes

Keywords: gas separation, CO2 capture, membranes, gas transport properties

known to offer a selective ability towards different gases and vapours. Membrane separations represent a clean and economic way to replace traditional separation and purification technologies based on high pressure or temperature gradients and on phase change. The research activity focuses on the characterization and modeling of the gas permeation into commercial as well as innovative membranes in order to design specific separation processes and to optimize material properties. The research is carried out in combination both with the final users of the separation processes, either in the industrial or pilot plant scale, and with material manufacturers and chemists. Separation of interest include: CO2 removal from natural gas, biogas (see also Membrane for energy applications) or flue gas, purification of hydrogen from steam reforming or from fermentation (biohydrogen), separation of hydrocarbons from light gases, etc. The research also includes macroscopic modeling of the mass transport properties allowing to gain a deep understanding of the separation process.

The current activity is particularly focused on:

  1. Polyimides membranes (e.g. Matrimid or 6FDA-6FpDA) which exhibit good thermal and mechanical properties and interesting performances in CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 separations.
  2. high free volume glassy polymers (PTMSP, polynorbornenes, polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM, Amorphous Teflon), with high gas permeability and selectivity.
  3. mixed matrix membranes based on glassy polymers and nano-sized silica particles that enhances the permeation rates of gases, with different effects on selectivity.
  4. rubbery polymers based on ethylene oxide or propylene oxide with high solubility for CO2.

The lab is equipped with pure and mixed gas permeometers, balances and pressure decay devices for pure and mixed gas sorption. Also polymer swelling can be monitored. The research is carried on in collaboration with several Italian and Foreign groups.

Main publications

Olivieri, L.; Ligi, S. De Angelis, M.G., Cucca, G., Pettinau, A. (2015) Effect of Graphene and Graphene Oxide Nanoplatelets on the Gas Permselectivity and Aging Behavior of Poly(trimethylsilyl propyne) (PTMSP), Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 54, pp. 11199 - 11211

Tsvigu, C., Pavesi, E., Angelis, M. G. De, Giacinti Baschetti, M. (2015). Effect of relative humidity and temperature on the gas transport properties of 6FDA – 6FpDA polyimide : Experimental study and modelling. Journal of Membrane Science, 485, 60–68.

Ansaloni, L., Minelli, M., Giacinti Baschetti, M., Sarti, G. C. (2014). Effect of relative humidity and temperature on gas transport in Matrimid: Experimental study and modeling. Journal of Membrane Science, 471, pp 392–401.

Minelli M., Giacinti Baschetti M. Hallinan D.T., Balsara N.P. (2013) Study of Gas Permeabilities through Polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) Copolymers, Journal Of Membrane Science vol. 432, pp 83-89.

Galizia M., De Angelis M.G., Sarti G.C., Finkelshtein E., Yampolskii Y. (2011). Sorption of hydrocarbons and alcohols in addition-type poly(trimethyl silyl norbornene) and other high free volume glassy polymers. I. experimental data; II: NELF model predictions, Journal of Membrane Science, Vol. 385-386, pp. 141-153 and 2012, Vol. 405-406, pp. 201-211.

Catalano J., Myezwa T., De Angelis M.G., Giacinti Baschetti M., Sarti G.C. (2012). The effect of relative humidity on the gas permeability and swelling in PFSI membranes, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 37, pp. 6308 - 6316.

Ferrari M.C., Galizia M., De Angelis M.G., Sarti G.C. (2010). Gas and Vapor Transport in Mixed Matrix Membranes Based on Amorphous Teflon AF1600 and AF2400 and Fumed Silica, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol. 49, pp. 11920 - 11935.

Fossati P., Sanguineti A., De Angelis M.G., Giacinti Baschetti M., Doghieri F., Sarti G.C. (2007). Gas solubility and permeability in MFA, Journal Of Polymer Science. Part B, Polymer Physics, Vol 45, pp. 1637-1652

Prabhakar R.S., De Angelis M.G., Sarti G.C., Freeman B.D., Coughlin M.C. (2005). Gas and Vapor Sorption, Permeation, and Diffusion in Poly(tetrafluoroethylene-co-perfluoromethyl vinyl ether), Macromolecules, Vol. 38, pp. 7043– 7055.

Giacinti Baschetti M., Ghisellini M., Quinzi M., Doghieri F., Stagnaro P., Costa G., Sarti G.C. (2005). Effects on sorption and diffusion in PTMSP and TMSP/TMSE copolymers of free volume changes due to polymer ageing, Journal of Molecular Structure, 2005, Vol. 739, pp. 75- 86.

De Angelis M.G., Sarti G.C., Sanguineti A., Maccone P. (2004). Permeation, Diffusion, and Sorption of Dimethyl Ether in Fluoroelastomers, Journal of Polymer Science. Part B, Polymer Physics, Vol. 42, pp. 1987–2006.

De Angelis M.G., Merkel, T.C., Bondar, V.I., Freeman, B.D., Doghieri, F. Sarti, G.C. (2002). "Gas Sorption and Dilation in Poly(2,2- bistrifluoromethyl-4,5-difluoro-1,3-dioxole-cotetrafluoroethylene): Comparison of Experimental Data with Predictions of the Non Equilibrium Lattice Fluid Model", Macromolecules, Vol. 35, pp. 1276-1288.

Research projects

H2020 project: NanoMEMC2 2016-2019: Nanomaterial based membranes and processes for improved pre/post combustion Carbon Capture.

BIOHYDRO 2010-2012: Combined biological production of methane and hydrogen from wastes of the agro-food industry

Accordo di Programma MSE-ENEA sulla Ricerca di Sistema Elettrico: "Studio di membrane polimeriche e processi a membrana per l'arricchimento in metano del biogas" 2011-2012.

Convenzione CNR , progetto “Carbone pulito” PAR 2011.