Zeolite filled P84 co-polyimide membranes for dehydration of isopropanol through pervaporation process

Xiangyi Qiao, Tai Shung Chung*, Raj Rajagopalan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


We have developed zeolite 5A and 13X embedded P84 co-polyimide membranes with enhanced permeability and selectivity for the pervaporation dehydration of isopropanol (IPA). It is found that a higher annealing temperature, i.e., 250 {ring operator} C is more favorable to improve adhesion between zeolite and polymer phase, and to enhance charge transfer complexes (CTCs) formation. FESEM, DSC and gas permeation results show that zeolite 13X has better compatibility with the matrix polymer than zeolite 5A because of stronger interactions between Na cations in zeolite 13X framework and electron acceptor groups of P84 polyimide. The addition of zeolite into the P84 dense membrane improves water sorption capacity and pervaporation separation performance significantly. Owing to the bigger pore size, larger pore volume, higher sorption capacity and better adhesion, the zeolite 13X incorporated P84 membranes has a much higher permeability than zeolite 5A filled membranes. Interestingly, both have comparably high selectivity possibly because of the effects of chain rigidification and partial pore blockage. The addition of zeolite 13X reduces activation energy for water permeation through the membrane but increases that for IPA permeation. However, the addition of zeolite 5A increases activation energy for both water and IPA permeation. Pervaporation permeability increases with zeolite 13X loading, while the selectivity achieves the maximum at 30 wt% zeolite 13X loading. When the zeolite 13X loading approaches 40 wt%, the adhesion between zeolite and polymer becomes poor and the membrane selectivity declines. A comparison between pervaporation and gas separation results reveals that pervaporation membranes can tolerate a higher degree of interstitial defects than gas separation membranes because of stronger molecular interactions between the feed and the polymer, and the larger molecular size difference between penetrants in the former.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6816-6825
Number of pages10
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Dehydration
  • Isopropanol
  • Mixed matrix membranes
  • P84 co-polyimide
  • Pervaporation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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