The ageing phenomenon of polyethersulphone hollow fibre membranes for gas separation and their characteristics

Tai Shung Chung, Soo Khean Teoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We have studied the ageing behaviour of PES/NMP (polyethersulphone/N-methyl pyrrolidone) hollow fibres for gas separation that were prepared from 35% and 37% dope. The effect of ageing on hollow fibres spun from low and high shear rate (103 vs. 862s-1) has also been investigated, in terms of their transport properties (permeation flux and separation performance), thermal, mechanical and tensile properties. Hollow fibres in this study were aged for around four months in ambient air at room temperature prior to testing.In general, the gas permeation flux drops steeply during the 40 days following fabrication and levels off thereafter. The O2/N2 selectivity decreases slightly over time. Hollow fibres spun with high shear rate seem to age faster than those spun with low shear rate. The gas fluxes of both membranes were found to follow a log-log relationship with ageing time. For almost all the gases used in this study, the gas flux decay rate, calculated from the slope of the log-log plot of gas flux vs. ageing, is higher for membranes spun with high shear rate. The effect of shear rate on ageing is less significant for smaller gas molecules that travel faster such as He and H2. No significant effect of ageing on gas selectivity was observed. Experimental results also indicate that the storage modulus and loss modulus of the hollow fibres increase with ageing. Hollow fibres spun with high shear rates give a slightly higher increase in these moduli than those spun at low shear rates. Surprisingly, tangent δ (energy dissipation) and glass transitional temperature are not sensitive to ageing. We also found that the tensile yield strength and Young's modulus of the hollow fibres increase slightly with ageing. The hollow fibre membranes spun at high shear rates also show a higher increment in tensile yield stress. However, the change in Young's modulus due to ageing was similar for fibres spun with high and low shear rates. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-188
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 20 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Gas separation
  • Polyethersulphone hollow fibre
  • Shear rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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