Blends of a polymer of intrinsic microporosity and partially sulfonated polyphenylenesulfone for Gas separation

Wai Fen Yong, Zhi Kang Lee, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Polyphenylenesulfone (PPSU) and sulfonated polyphenylenesulfone (sPPSU) are widely used for liquid separations in the medical and food industries. However, their potential applications for gas separation have not been studied extensively owing to their low intrinsic gas permeability. We report here for the first time that blending with sPPSU can significantly improve the gas separation performance of highly permeable polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs), specifically PIM-1, because of the strong molecular interactions of the sulfonic acid groups of sPPSU with CO2 and O2. In addition, a novel co-solvent system has been discovered to overcome the immisci bility of these polymers. The presence of a higher degree of sulfonation in sPPSU results in better gas separation performance of the blend membranes close to or above the Robeson upper bound lines for O2/N2,CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 separations. Interestingly, the blend membranes have comparable gas selectivity to sPPSU even though their sPPSU content is only 5–20 wt %. Moreover, they also display improved anti-plasticization properties up to 30 atm (3 MPa) using a binary CO2/CH4 feed gas. The newly developed PIM-1/sPPSU membranes are potential candidates for air separation, natural gas separation, and CO2 capture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1953-1962
Number of pages10
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 9 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Co-solvent
  • Gas separation
  • Plasticization
  • Polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Energy


Dive into the research topics of 'Blends of a polymer of intrinsic microporosity and partially sulfonated polyphenylenesulfone for Gas separation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this