Fabrication of Matrimid/polyethersulfone dual-layer hollow fiber membranes for gas separation

Lanying Jiang, Tai Shung Chung*, Dong Fei Li, Chun Cao, Santi Kulprathipanja

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


We have developed almost defect-free Matrimid/polyethersulfone (PES) dual-layer hollow fibers with an ultra-thin outer layer of about 10 × 10-6 m (10 μm), studied the effects of spinneret and coagulant temperatures and dope flow rates on membrane morphology and separation performance, and highlighted the process similarities and differences between single-layer and dual-layer hollow fiber fabrications. The compositions of the outer and inner layer dopes were 26.2/58.8/15.0 (in wt.%) Matrimid/NMP/methanol and 36/51.2/12.8 (in wt.%) PES/NMP/ethanol, respectively. It is found that 25°C for both spinneret and coagulant is a better condition, and the fibers thus spun exhibit an O2/N2 selectivity of 6.26 which is within the 87% of the intrinsic value and a calculated apparent dense-layer thickness of about 2886 × 10-10 m (2886 Å). These dual-layer membranes also have impressive CO2/CH4 selectivity of around 40 in mixed gas tests. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies show that low coagulant temperatures produce dual-layer hollow fibers with an overall thicker thickness and tighter interfacial structure which may result in a higher substructure resistance and decrease the permeance and selectivity simultaneously. The elemental analysis of the interface skins confirms that a faster inter-layer diffusion occurs when the fibers are spun at higher spinneret temperatures. Experimental results also reveal that the separation performance of dual-layer hollow fiber membranes is extremely sensitive to the outer layer dope flow rate, and the inner layer dope flow rate also has some influence. SEM pictures indicate that the macrovoid formation in dual-layer asymmetric hollow fiber membranes is quite similar to that in single-layer ones. It appears that macrovoids observed in this study likely start from local stress imbalance and weak points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-103
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Air separation
  • Dual-layer hollow fiber
  • Macrovoids
  • Natural gas separation
  • Phase separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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