Hydrocarbon/hydrogen mixed gas permeation in poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne) (PTMSP), poly(1-phenyl-1-propyne) (PPP), and PTMSP/PPP blends

I. Pinnau*, C. G. Casillas, A. Morisato, B. D. Freeman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The gas permeation properties of poly (1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne) (PTMSP), poly(1-phenyl-1-propyne) (PPP), and blends of PTMSP and PPP have been determined with hydrocarbon/ hydrogen mixtures. For a glassy polymer, PTMSP has unusual gas permeation properties which result from its very high free volume. Transport in PPP is similar to that observed in conventional, low-free-volume glassy polymers. In experiments with n-butane/hydrogen gas mixtures, PTMSP and PTMSP/PPP blend membranes were more permeable to n-butane than to hydrogen. PPP, on the other hand, was more permeable to hydrogen than to n-butane. As the PTMSP composition in the blend increased from 0 to 100%, n-butane permeability increased by a factor of 2600, and n-butane/hydrogen selectivity increased from 0.4 to 24. Thus, both hydrocarbon permeability and hydrocarbon/hydrogen selectivity increase with the PTMSP content in the blend. The selectivities measured with gas mixtures were markedly higher than selectivities calculated from the corresponding ratio of pure gas permeabilities. The difference between mixed gas and pure gas selectivity becomes more pronounced as the PTMSP content in the blend increases. The mixed gas selectivities are higher than pure gas selectivities because the hydrogen permeability in the mixture is much lower than the pure hydrogen permeability. For example, the hydrogen permeability in PTMSP decreased by a factor of 20 as the relative propane pressure (p/psat) in propane/ hydrogen mixtures increased from 0 to 0.8. This marked reduction in permanent gas permeability in the presence of a more condensable hydrocarbon component is reminiscent of blocking of permanent gas transport in microporous materials by preferential sorption of the condensable component in the pores. The permeability of PTMSP to a five-component hydrocarbon/hydrogen mixture, similar to that found in refinery waste gas, was determined and compared with published permeation results for a 6-Å microporous carbon membrane. PTMSP exhibited lower selectivities than those of the carbon membrane, but permeability coefficients in PTMSP were nearly three orders of magnitude higher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2613-2621
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Nov 15 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Blends
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrogen
  • Mixed gas transport
  • Poly(1-phenyl-1-propyne)
  • Poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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