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Title: Membranes with artificial free-volume for biofuel production

Free-volume of polymers governs transport of penetrants through polymeric films. Control over free-volume is thus important for the development of better membranes for a wide variety of applications such as gas separations, pharmaceutical purifications and energy storage. To date, methodologies used to create materials with different amounts of free-volume are based primarily on chemical synthesis of new polymers. Here we report a simple methodology for generating free-volume based on the self-assembly of polyethylene-b-polydimethylsiloxane-b-polyethylene triblock copolymers. Here, we have used this method to fabricate a series of membranes with identical compositions but with different amounts of free-volume. We use the term artificial free-volume to refer to the additional free-volume created by self-assembly. The effect of artificial free-volume on selective transport through the membranes was tested using butanol/water and ethanol/water mixtures due to their importance in biofuel production. Moreover, we found that the introduction of artificial free-volume improves both alcohol permeability and selectivity.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. CSIRO Manufacturing Private Bag 10, Victoria (Australia)
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231; SC0004993 DE140101359
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States