Nanostructured poly(4-methyl-2-pentyne)/silica hybrid membranes for gas separation

Zhenjie He, Ingo Pinnau*, Atsushi Morisato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


The separation of hydrocarbons from permanent gases is of considerable importance in the chemical industry. Poly(1-trimethylsily1-1-propyne) [PTMSP] is extremely permeable to hydrocarbons and has high hydrocarbon/ permanent gas selectivity. However, the poor chemical resistance of this material limits its use as a membrane for industrial applications. To overcome this problem, we studied an alternative acetylene-based polymer, poly(4-methyl-2-pentyne) [PMP], which exhibits much better chemical resistance than PTMSP. Several types of non-porous, nano-sized, fumed silica fillers were incorporated in PMP to manipulate the molecular polymer chain packing. The pure-and mixed-gas permcation properties of the PMP/silica hybrid membranes were studied. The gas permeability and the hydrocarbon/permanent-gas selectivity increased simultaneously with increasing filler content. The n-butane/ methane selectivity was 13 for pure PMP, but increased to 26 for 45 wt% silica-filled PMP. In addition, the n-butane permeability also increased 3-4 fold. Therefore, the silica-filled hybrid PMP membrane showed completely opposite gas permeation behavior to that of conventional polymers filled with non-porous inorganic nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Sep 10 2002


  • Fumed silica
  • Gas separation
  • Organic/inorganic hybrid membrane
  • Poly(4-methyl-2-pentyne)
  • Vapor permeation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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