Gas separation properties of aromatic polyimides

D. Ayala, A. E. Lozano, J. De Abajo, C. García-Perez, J. G. De La Campa*, K. V. Peinemann, B. D. Freeman, R. Prabhakar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


A series of aromatic polyimides have been investigated for their permeation properties to oxygen, nitrogen, helium, carbon dioxide and methane. The polymers are soluble, film-forming polyimides based on new anhydride monomers containing carbonyl groups as connecting linkages of phenyl rings and bulky side groups like phenyl and t-butyl. To assist in explaining the experimental results, molecular modeling was performed to calculate density, free volume and chain parameters that could account for the behavior of the polymers as selective barriers for gas penetrants. High values of O2/N2 selectivity and good permeabilites were observed for some polymers; their properties lie near the upper bound for this gas pair. Gas permeability typically increased with increasing free volume, and, in general, free volume could be related to the chemical composition of the polymer backbone and to the nature of the pendent groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support provided by the Spanish Comisión Interministerial de Ciencia y Tecnologı́a (Project MAT98-0942), the Consejerı́a de Educación y Cultura de la Comunidad de Madrid (PGE-2000) and by the National Science Foundation (CTS98-03225) is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Aromatic polyimides
  • Gas separation
  • Molecular modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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