Polytriazole membranes with ultrathin tunable selective layer for crude oil fractionation

Stefan Chisca, Valentina-Elena Musteata, Wen Zhang, Serhii Vasylevskyi, Gheorghe Falca, Edy Abou-Hamad, Abdul-Hamid M. Emwas, Mustafa Altunkaya, Suzana Pereira Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The design of materials and their manufacture into membranes that can handle industrial conditions and separate complex nonaqueous mixtures are challenging. We report a versatile strategy to fabricate polytriazole membranes with 10-nanometer-thin selective layers containing subnanometer channels for the separation of hydrocarbons. The process involves the use of the classical nonsolvent-induced phase separation method and thermal cross-linking. The membrane selectivity can be tuned to the lower end of the typical nanofiltration range (200 to 1000 gram mole−1). The polytriazole membrane can enrich up to 80 to 95% of the hydrocarbon content with less than 10 carbon atoms (140 gram mole−1). These membranes preferentially separate paraffin over aromatic components, making them suitable for integration in hybrid distillation systems for crude oil fractionation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1105-1110
Number of pages6
Issue number6597
StatePublished - Jun 2 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-06
Acknowledgements: We thank V. Samaras (KAUST, Analytical Corelab) for the GCxGC measurements, S. Aristizábal (KAUST) for valuable discussions, and F. Alduraiei (KAUST) for providing the Arabian crude oil.
This work was sponsored by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Office of Vice President of Research. The authors thank the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials (AMPM) Center for the CCF grant and general discussions.

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