Formation of defect-free 6FDA-DAM asymmetric hollow fiber membranes for gas separations

Liren Xu, Chen Zhang, Meha Rungta, Wulin Qiu, Junqiang Liu, William J. Koros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


This paper reports the formation of defect-free 6FDA-DAM asymmetric hollow fiber membranes. 6FDA-polyimides are of great interest for advanced gas separation membranes, and 6FDA-DAM polyimide is a representative polymer in this family with attractive dense film properties for several potential applications. The work reported here for the 6FDA-DAM polyimide provides insight for the challenging fabrication of defect-free asymmetric hollow fiber membranes for this class of 6FDA-polyimides, which behave rather different from lower free volume polymers. Specifically, the 6FDA based materials show relatively slow phase separation rate in water quench baths, which presents a challenge for fiber spinning. For convenience, we refer to the behavior as more "non-solvent resistant" in comparison to other lower free volume polymers, since the binodal phase boundary is displaced further from the conventional position near the pure polymer-solvent axis on a ternary phase diagram in conventional polymers like Matrimid® and Ultem®. The addition of lithium nitrate to promote phase separation has a useful impact on 6FDA-DAM asymmetric hollow fiber formation. 6FDA-DAM phase diagrams using ethanol and water as non-solvent are reported, and it was found that water is less desirable as a non-solvent dope additive for defect-free fiber spinning. Phase diagrams are also reported for 6FDA-DAM dope formulation with and without the addition of lithium nitrate, and defect-free asymmetric hollow fiber membranes are reported for both cases. The effect of polymer molecular weight on defect-free fiber spinning was also investigated. Gas transport properties and morphology of hollow fibers were characterized. With several thorough case studies, this work provides a systematic guideline for defect-free fiber formation from 6FDA-polymers. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-232
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


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