PVDF/ionic liquid polymer blends with superior separation performance for removing CO 2 from hydrogen and flue gas

Hang Zheng Chen, Pei Li, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


We have demonstrated, for the first time, a polymer blend comprising poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and a room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) that shows a high CO 2 permeability of 1778 Barrer with CO 2/H 2 and CO 2/N 2 selectivity of 12.9 and 41.1, respectively. The low viscosity RTIL, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetracyanoborate ([emim][B(CN) 4]) possesses a high CO 2 solubility, and plays a significant role in CO 2 separation, whereas PVDF provides the mechanical strength to the blend membranes. A series of PVDF/[emim][B(CN) 4] polymer blends with different compositions were tested for their gas separation performance involving H 2, N 2 and CO 2 in both pure gas and mixed gas conditions. Both optical observation and Maxwell predictions confirm the heterogeneous nature of the PVDF/[emim][B(CN) 4] system. However, compared to miscible ionic liquid based blends, where molecular level interactions may restrain chain flexibility and reduce gas permeability, heterogeneous PVDF/RTIL blend systems show far superior gas transport properties. Most of these blend membranes outperform most reported materials and their gas transport and separation capabilities fall within the attractive region bound by the "2008 Robeson Upper Limit" for CO 2/H 2 and CO 2/N 2 gas pairs, and are also very stable at trans-membrane pressure up to 5 atm. Therefore, they are potential materials for H 2 purification and CO 2 capture from hydrogen production and flue gas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11796-11804
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetracyanoborate ([emim][B(CN) ])
  • Gas separation
  • Room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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