Dual-layer PBI/P84 hollow fibers for pervaporation dehydration of acetone

Gui Min Shi, Yan Wang, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Acetone dehydration via pervaporation is challenging, because acetone and water have close molecular sizes, and acetone has a much higher vapor pressure than water. Acetone is also a powerful solvent, which dissolves or swells most polymers. We have developed novel polybenzimidazole/BTDA-TDI/MDI (PBI/P84) dual-layer hollow fibers for pervaporation dehydration of acetone for industrial and biofuel separations. Both thermal and chemical crosslinking modifications were applied to the membranes to investigate their effectiveness to overcome acetone-induced swelling. Thermal treatment can effectively enhance separation performance, but performance stability can only be achieved through the crosslinking modification of PBI. Crosslinking by p-xylene dichloride followed by a thermal treatment above 250°C show significant effectiveness to improve and stabilize pervaporation performance. The fractional free volume of the PBI selective layer reduces from 3.27 to 1.98% and 1.33%, respectively, after thermal treatment and a combination of chemical/thermal crosslinking modifications characterized by positron annihilation spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1133-1145
Number of pages13
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetone
  • Crosslinking
  • Dual-layer hollow fiber membrane
  • Pervaporation dehydration
  • Polybenzimidazole
  • Thermal treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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