Mixed-linker zeolitic imidazolate framework mixed-matrix membranes for aggressive CO2 separation from natural gas

Joshua A. Thompson, Justin T. Vaughn, Nicholas A. Brunelli, William J. Koros, Christopher W. Jones, Sankar Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) materials are a promising subclass of metal-organic frameworks (MOF) for gas separations. However, due to the deleterious effects of gate-opening phenomena associated with organic linker rotation near the limiting pore apertures of ZIFs, there have been few demonstrations of improved gas separation properties over pure polymer membranes when utilizing ZIF materials in composite membranes for CO2-based gas separations. Here, we report a study of composite ZIF/polymer membranes, containing mixed-linker ZIF materials with ZIF-8 crystal topologies but composed of different organic linker compositions. Characterization of the mixed-linker ZIFs shows that the mixed linker approach offers control over the porosity and pore size distribution of the materials, as determined from nitrogen physisorption and Horváth-Kawazoe analysis. Single gas permeation measurements on mixed-matrix membranes reveal that inclusion of mixed-linker ZIFs yields membranes with better ideal CO2/CH4 selectivity than membranes containing ZIF-8. This improvement is shown to likely occur from enhancement in the diffusion selectivity of the membranes associated with controlling the pore size distribution of the ZIF filler. Mixed-gas permeation experiments show that membranes with mixed-linker ZIFs display an effective plasticization resistance that is not typical of the pure polymeric matrix. Overall, we demonstrate that mixed-linker ZIFs can improve the gas separation properties in composite membranes and may be applicable to aggressive CO2 concentrations in natural gas feeds. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-Il-011-21
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology under Award No. KUS-I1-011-21.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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