Transport properties of PA12-PTMO/AgBF4 solid polymer electrolyte membranes for olefin/paraffin separation

Atsushi Morisato*, Zhenjie He, Ingo Pinnau, Tim C. Merkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


A rubbery nylon-12/tetramethylene oxide block copolymer (PA12-PTMO) was used as a polymeric matrix material for silver tetrafluoroborate (AgBF4) based solid polymer electrolyte membranes. Ethane sorption uptake of PA12-PTMO/AgBF4 increased linearly with increasing feed pressure. Moreover, the ethane sorption capacity decreased by increasing the AgBF4 concentration in the polymer electrolyte. Ethylene sorption of pure PA12-PTMO also followed Henry's law. On the other hand, the ethylene sorption isotherms of PA12-PTMO/AgBF4 showed a completely different behavior. As the silver concentration increased in the polymer electrolyte membranes, the sorption isotherms showed a dual-mode sorption behavior. The initial sorption enhancement provides clear evidence of complex formation between ethylene and silver ions. Mixed-gas permeation studies performed with dry ethylene/ethane mixture demonstrated that PA12-PTMO/AgBF4 composite membranes exhibited good stability. In a 14-day test period, the ethylene/ethane selectivity of this membrane decreased from 25-20. This performance is far better than that of any polymeric membrane for ethylene/ethane separation. The decline in membrane performance occurred only during the first 3 days of operation; thereafter, the membrane showed excellent long-term stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-351
Number of pages5
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Sep 10 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • AgBF
  • Facilitated transport
  • Olefin/paraffin separation
  • Solid polymer electrolyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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