Matrimid®/MgO mixed matrix membranes for pervaporation

Lan Ying Jiang, Tai Shung Chung*, Raj Rajagopalan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


For the first time, porous Magnesium oxide (MgO) particles have been applied to generate mixed matrix membranes (MMM) for the dehydration of iso-propanol by pervaporation. A modified membrane fabrication procedure has been developed to prepare membranes with higher separation efficiency. FESEM and DSC characterizations confirm that the MMMs produced have intimate polymer/particle interface; the nanosize crystallites on MgO surface may interfere with the polymer chain packing and induce chains rigidification upon the particle surface. It is observed that Matrimid®/MgO MMMs generally have higher selectivity, but lower permeability relative to the neat Matrimid® dense membrane. The highest selectivity is obtained with MMM containing 15 wt. % MgO. The selective sorption and diffusion of water in the MgO particles, and the polymer/particle interface properties combine to lead to the earlier phenomena. The investigation on the effect of feed water composition on the pervaporation performance reveals that the addition of MgO can show the selectivity-enhancing effects if the feed water concentration is lower than 30 wt. %. In the dehydration of isopropanol aqueous solution with 10 wt. % water, the selectivity of the MMMs is around 2,000, which is more than twice of 900 of neat polymeric membrane. This makes MMMs extremely suitable for breaking the azeotrops of water/iso-propanol. Gas permeation tests are also conducted using O2 and N2 to determine the microscopic structure of the MMMs, and to investigate the relationship between pervaporation and gas separation performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1745-1757
Number of pages13
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Dehydration
  • Iso-propanol
  • Magnesium oxide (MgO)
  • Mixed matrix membrane (MMM)
  • Pervaporation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering


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