High-flux PIM-1/PVDF thin film composite membranes for 1-butanol/water pervaporation

Lei Gao, Monica Alberto, Patricia Gorgojo, Gyorgy Szekely, Peter M. Budd*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Membranes that enable the recovery of organic compounds from dilute aqueous solution are desired for applications such as biobutanol production. The polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1 shows promise for organophilic separations and here it is incorporated into thin film composite (TFC) membranes in order to increase the flux of permeate. Asymmetric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) supports were prepared with pore sizes at the surface in the size range 25–55 nm and fractional surface porosities in the range 0.38–0.69, as determined by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The addition of phosphoric acid to the PVDF dope solution helped to control the pore size and porosity. Supports were coated with PIM-1 to form TFC membranes with active layer thicknesses in the range 1.0–2.9 µm. Membranes were tested for the pervaporation of a 1-butanol/water mixture (5 wt%). At 65 °C, values of total flux up to 9 kg m−2 h−1were obtained, with separation factors up to 18.5 and values of pervaporation separation index (PSI) up to 112 kg m−2 h−1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Butanol
  • Pervaporation
  • Polymer of intrinsic microporosity
  • Thin film composite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'High-flux PIM-1/PVDF thin film composite membranes for 1-butanol/water pervaporation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this