Next Generation Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity
Categories for this invention
POLYMERS OF INTRINSIC MICROPOROSITY (PIMS) CONTAINING LOCKED SPIROBISINDANE STRUCTURES AND METHODS OF SYNTHESIS OF PIMS POLYMERS
US Patent Application
Polymers of intrinsic microporosity with best in class selectivity and permeability performance with applications in membrane separation, gas/vapour adsorption, and CO2 capture
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
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.
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