The development of high-performance 6FDA-NDA/DABA/POSS/Ultem® dual-layer hollow fibers for ethanol dehydration via pervaporation

Ngoc Lieu Le, Yu Pan Tang, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


A dual-layer hollow fiber membrane consisting of copoly(1,5-naphthalene/3,5-benzoic acid-2,2'-bis(3,4-dicarboxyphenyl) hexafluoropropanedimide) (6FDA-NDA/DABA)/polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) as the outer functional layer and polyetherimide (Ultem®) as the inner support layer has been developed for ethanol hydration via pervaporation. By using lower dope flow rates and optimizing inner dope concentration, the newly developed hollow fiber membranes have desirable morphology consisting of a porous inner layer with low transport resistance and a macrovoid-free selective layer for a superior separation performance. Doppler broadening energy spectra (DBES) have been employed to analyze the depth profile of morphological evolution and examine the thickness of dense selective layer as a function of spinning conditions. Incorporating a small amount (2wt%) of POSS into the selective layer increases its free volume size and diffusion selectivity and hence improves the pervaporation performance of the hybrid membranes. The diffusion mechanism of permeate molecules through polymer chains containing POSS nanoparticles was proposed and verified via FTIR spectra, XRD curves, positron annihilation lifetime (PAL) characterization and vapor sorption tests. Compared to other hollow fiber membranes, the newly developed hollow fibers have a superior flux of 1.9kg/m2h and a comparable separation factor of 166 for ethanol dehydration. The work may open up a new perspective for the development of next-generation high-performance dual-layer hollow fiber membranes with a POSS embedded selective layer for biofuel separation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - 2013


  • Dual-layer
  • Ethanol dehydration
  • PALS
  • POSS
  • Pervaporation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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