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Next Generation  Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity

Categories for this invention

Polymer Chemistry

Gas Separation

 

Intellectual Property

POLYMERS OF INTRINSIC MICROPOROSITY (PIMS) CONTAINING LOCKED SPIROBISINDANE STRUCTURES AND METHODS OF SYNTHESIS OF PIMS POLYMERS

US Patent Application

US20190153154A1

 

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Summary

Polymers of intrinsic microporosity with best in class selectivity and permeability performance with applications in membrane separation, gas/vapour adsorption, and CO2 capture 

 

Problems Addressed

Separation of gas mixtures is necessary in a variety of industrial processes. Highly energy‐efficient separation of gases can be achieved using polymer membranes as they do not require thermal regeneration, a phase change or active moving parts in their operation. Ideal polymer membranes have high longevity, selectivity, and permeability, and can be easily processed into thin films or hollow fibres. Polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIM) membranes are an advanced membrane technology formed from rigid contorted polymers which are unable to pack tightly, yielding a very high surface area and microporous properties

 

Technology

The selectivity and permeability of existing PIM membranes is limited by the high degree of flexion in the pivotal spiro-carbon responsible for the contorted “zig-zag” shaped polymer backbone. Without steric support, the spiro-carbon bond can flex up between 60°-120°, resulting in heterogeneity in the size and distribution of the membrane micropores which limits performance. Our researchers have developed the next generation of PIM membranes using simple scalable chemistry. By adding a bridging bond across the spiro-carbon (locking the spiro-carbon), the polymers can be made significantly more rigid, resulting in the observed improvement in selectivity and permeability for CO2/CH4, O2/N2 and other important gas pairs. With relatively simple chemical techniques, the supporting bridge can be optimised for particular gas mixtures.   

Applications

  • CO2 removal from natural gas
  • Biogas enrichment
  • Isolation of inert N2 from air
  • O2 enrichment from air
  • H2 Recovery
  • Vapor/Nitrogen separation
  • Vapor/vapor separation
  • Removal of moisture from air
  • CO2 capture
  • High surface area – maybe suitable material for adsorption of environmental pollutants
  • Optoelectronics (light emitting polymer)
  • Organic vapour sensing
  • Organic solvent nanofiltration

 

Advantages

  • Organic solvent processable (chloroform, THF, etc) unlike zeolite.
  • Regeneratable
  • One of the best in class selectivity and permeability for a variety of industrially important gas pairs including CO2/CH4 and O2/N2
  • Scalable chemistry
  • High temperature stability with no glass transition and Td5wt% ~400°C
  • High BET surface area >750 g/m2
  • Amorphous

Inventors

Dr Jianyong Jin

Polymer Chemistry Lab

School of Chemical Sciences

 

Questions about this Technology?

Contact Sam Wilkins