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Effect of Feed Composition on the Gas Separation Performance of Binary and Ternary Mixed Matrix Membranes

Binary and ternary component mixed matrix membranes comprised of zeolite 4A and p-nitroaniline (pNA) in the polycarbonate (PC) matrix were prepared and appraised in gas separation. For comparison, homogenous membranes of PC and PC/pNA membranes were also investigated. The membranes were utilized to separate binary mixtures of CO2/CH4, H2/CH4, and CO2/N2. The effect of feed composition on the separation performance of membranes was investigated. Separation factors and ideal selectivities were similar for the PC membrane. A similar trend was also observed with the PC/pNA membrane. The separation factors of the PC/pNA membrane for CO2/CH4 were almost twice as high as those of the PC membrane regardless of the feed composition. The ideal selectivities were, however, higher than separation factors for PC/zeolite 4A and PC/pNA/zeolite 4A membranes. The PC/ pNA/zeolite 4A membrane has separation factors of 18 for 77% CO2/ 23% CH4 mixture, and 40 for 20% CO2/ 80% CH4 mixture, respectively. The separation factors of the mixed matrix membranes depended on the feed composition strongly. The PC/ pNA/zeolite 4A membrane had higher separation factors and lower permeabilities than the PC/zeolite 4A membrane. pNA assisted to eradicate partly the detrimental effects of interfacial voids and improved the molecular sieving effect of zeolite 4A dispersed in the PC.