Trasporto di materia in membrane polimeriche e nanocomposite per la separazione di gas

Galizia, Michele (2010) Trasporto di materia in membrane polimeriche e nanocomposite per la separazione di gas, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria chimica dell'ambiente e della sicurezza, 22 Ciclo.
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Membrane-based separation processes are acquiring, in the last years, an increasing importance because of their intrinsic energetic and environmental sustainability: some types of polymeric materials, showing adequate perm-selectivity features, appear rather suitable for these applications, because of their relatively low cost and easy processability. In this work have been studied two different types of polymeric membranes, in view of possible applications to the gas separation processes, i.e. Mixed Matrix Membranes (MMMs) and high free volume glassy polymers. Since the early 90’s, it has been understood that the performances of polymeric materials in the field of gas separations show an upper bound in terms of permeability and selectivity: in particular, an increase of permeability is often accompanied by a decrease of selectivity and vice-versa, while several inorganic materials, like zeolites or silica derivates, can overcome this limitation. As a consequence, it has been developed the idea of dispersing inorganic particles in polymeric matrices, in order to obtain membranes with improved perm-selectivity features. In particular, dispersing fumed silica nanoparticles in high free volume glassy polymers improves in all the cases gases and vapours permeability, while the selectivity may either increase or decrease, depending upon material and gas mixture: that effect is due to the capacity of nanoparticles to disrupt the local chain packing, increasing the dimensions of excess free volume elements trapped in the polymer matrix. In this work different kinds of MMMs were fabricated using amorphous Teflon® AF or PTMSP and fumed silica: in all the cases, a considerable increase of solubility, diffusivity and permeability of gases and vapours (n-alkanes, CO2, methanol) was observed, while the selectivity shows a non-monotonous trend with filler fraction. Moreover, the classical models for composites are not able to capture the increase of transport properties due to the silica addition, so it has been necessary to develop and validate an appropriate thermodynamic model that allows to predict correctly the mass transport features of MMMs. In this work, another material, called poly-trimethylsilyl-norbornene (PTMSN) was examined: it is a new generation high free volume glassy polymer that, like PTMSP, shows unusual high permeability and selectivity levels to the more condensable vapours. These two polymer differ each other because PTMSN shows a more pronounced chemical stability, due to its structure double-bond free. For this polymer, a set of Lattice Fluid parameters was estimated, making possible a comparison between experimental and theoretical solubility isotherms for hydrocarbons and alcoholic vapours: the successfully modelling task, based on application of NELF model, offers a reliable alternative to direct sorption measurement, which is extremely time-consuming due to the relevant relaxation phenomena showed by each sorption step. For this material also dilation experiments were performed, in order to quantify its dimensional stability in presence of large size, swelling vapours.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Galizia, Michele
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Ingegneria industriale
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
membrane, solubilità, diffusività, permeabilità, selettività
Data di discussione
28 Aprile 2010

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