CO2-philic thin film composite membranes: Synthesis and characterization of PAN-r-PEGMA copolymer

Madhavan Karunakaran, Mahendra Kumar*, Rahul Shevate, Faheem Hassan Akhtar, Klaus Viktor Peinemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this work, we report the successful fabrication of CO2-philic polymer composite membranes using a polyacrylonitrile-r-poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PAN-r-PEGMA) copolymer. The series of PAN-r-PEGMA copolymers with various amounts of PEG content was synthesized by free radical polymerization in presence of AIBN initiator and the obtained copolymers were used for the fabrication of composite membranes. The synthesized copolymers show high molecular weights in the range of 44-56 kDa. We were able to fabricate thin film composite (TFC) membranes by dip coating procedure using PAN-r-PEGMA copolymers and the porous PAN support membrane. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were applied to analyze the surface morphology of the composite membranes. The microscopy analysis reveals the formation of the defect free skin selective layer of PAN-r-PEGMA copolymer over the porous PAN support membrane. Selective layer thickness of the composite membranes was in the range of 1.32-1.42 μm. The resulting composite membrane has CO2 a permeance of 1.37 × 10-1 m3/m2 · h · bar and an ideal CO2/N2, selectivity of 65. The TFC membranes showed increasing ideal gas pair selectivities in the order CO2/N2 > CO2/CH4 > CO2/H2. In addition, the fabricated composite membranes were tested for long-term single gas permeation measurement and these membranes have remarkable stability, proving that they are good candidates for CO2 separation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number219
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 6 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors.


  • Composite membranes
  • Copolymer
  • Gas separation
  • Polyacrylonitrile
  • Polyethylene glycol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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