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Performance improvement of PDMS/PES membrane by adding silicalite-1 nanoparticles: separation of xenon and krypton

Hadi Amiri, Amir Charkhi, Mohammad Ali Moosavian, Seyyed Javad Ahmadi, and Hamed Nourian

School of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Abstract: The polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mixed matrix membrane with dispersed phase of nanozeolite silicalite-1 has been synthesized on polyethersulphone (PES) as a support, and its performance in the gas separation of xenon and krypton has been studied. For this purpose, nanozeolite silicalite-1 is synthesized by the hydrothermal clear solution method and is characterized by XRD and SEM analysis. In this research, the separation performance of MMM has also been compared with the polymeric PDMS membrane. Furthermore, the effect of feed pressure and loading percentage of nanozeolite in the polymeric matrix are evaluated. The results indicate that the addition of nanozeolite to the polymeric matrix improves its separation performance, and that the changes of the feed pressure have no major effect. The average permeability of the krypton and xenon gases through the PDMS polymeric membrane is calculated as 1.25 × 10−9 and 1.78 × 10−9 cm mol/(cm2 s kPa), respectively, while by adding only 5 wt% of nanosilicalite-1 to the polymeric matrix of the membrane, this amount increased to 1.82 × 10−9 and 8.07 × 10−9 cm mol/(cm2 s kPa), respectively. In addition, the presence of nanosilicalite-1 as the filler leads to an increase in the selectivity of xenon to krypton up to 4.38.

Keywords: Mixed matrix membrane; Nanosilicalite-1; Xenon; Krypton; Polydimethylsiloxane

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-017-0151-6


Chemical Papers 71 (9) 1587–1596 (2017)

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