Separation of CO2/CH4 through carbon molecular sieve membranes derived from P84 polyimide

Pei Shi Tin, Tai Shung Chung*, Ye Liu, Rong Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Scopus citations


The separation of CO2/CH4 separation is industrially important especially for natural gas processing. In the past decades, polymeric membranes separation technology has been widely adopted for CO 2/CH4 separation. However, polymeric membranes are suffering from plasticization by condensable CO2 molecules. Thus, carbon molecular sieve membranes (CMSMs) with excellent separation performance and stability appear to be a promising candidate for CO2/CH 4 separation. A commercially available polyimide, P84 has been chosen as a precursor in preparing carbon membranes for this study. P84 displays a very high selectivity among the polyimides. The carbonization process was carried out at 550-800 °C under vacuum environment. WAXD and density measurements were performed to characterize the morphology of carbon membranes. The permeation properties of single and equimolar binary gas mixture through carbon membranes were measured and analyzed. The highest selectivity was attained by carbon membranes pyrolyzed at 800 °C, where the pyrolysis temperatures significantly affected the permeation properties of carbon membranes. A comparison of permeation properties among carbon membranes derived from four commercially available polyimides showed that the P84 carbon membranes exhibited the highest separation efficiency for CO2/CH4 separation. The pure gas measurement underestimated the separation efficiency of carbon membranes, due to the restricted diffusion of non-adsorbable gas by adsorbable component in binary mixture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3123-3131
Number of pages9
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • A. Carbon films
  • Molecular sieves
  • Porous carbon; B. Pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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