For ethylene/ethane separation, a CMS (carbon molecular sieve) membrane was developed with a PAN (polyacrylonitrile) polymer precursor on an alumina support. To provide an excellent thermal property to PAN precursor prior to the pyrolysis, the stabilization as a pre-treatment process was carried out. Tuning the stabilization condition was very important to successfully preparing the CMS membrane derived from the PAN precursor. The stabilization and pyrolysis processes for the PAN precursor were finely tuned, and optimized in terms of stabilization temperature and time, as well as pyrolysis temperature, heating rate, and soaking time. The PAN stabilized at >250 °C showed improved thermal stability and carbon yield. The CMS membrane derived from stabilized PAN showed reasonable separation performance for ethylene permeance (0.71 GPU) and ethylene/ethane selectivity (7.62), respectively. Increasing the pyrolysis temperature and soaking time gave rise to an increase in the gas permeance, and a reduction in the membrane selectivity. This trend was opposite to that for the CMS membranes derived from other polymer precursors. The optimized separation performance (ethylene permeance of 2.97 GPU and ethylene/ethane selectivity of 7.25) could be achieved at the pyrolysis temperature of 650 °C with a soaking time of 1 h. The separation performance of the CMS membrane derived from the PAN precursor was comparable to that of other polymer precursors, and surpassed them regarding the upper bound trade off.
Track-etched nanoporous membranes prepared by swift heavy ion irradiation are promising for separation processes such as water purification. However, one drawback is that multiple pores are undesirably formed by pore overlapping to reduce separation performance. The techniques for predicting the size and amount of multiple pores in detail are still underdeveloped, which hinders the precise membrane design. In this study, a computer simulation program was developed to predict the size distribution of the track-etched pores. The program generates a number of single pores on the virtual grid plane to simulate random ion bombardment, finds multiple pores containing several single pores, and determines the multiple pore size by counting the inside grid points. All the multiple pores are categorized into different size classes, and the areal percentage occupied by the pores belonging to each size class is estimated. The simulation algorithm and the results of a model case simulation were described.
In this work, the extraction and separation of bovine serum albumin (BSA) from its original matrix, i.e., bovine serum, was performed using a novel ionic-liquid-based aqueous biphasic system (IL-based ABS). To this end, imidazolium-, phosphonium-, and ammonium-based ILs, combined with the anions’ acetate, arginate and derived from Good Buffers, were synthesized, characterized, and applied in the development of ABS with K2HPO4/KH2PO4 buffer aqueous solutions at pH 7. Initial studies with commercial BSA revealed a preferential migration of the protein to the IL-rich phase, with extraction efficiencies of 100% obtained in a single-step. BSA recovery yields ranging between 64.0% and 84.9% were achieved, with the system comprising the IL tetrabutylammonium acetate leading to the maximum recovery yield. With this IL, BSA was directly extracted and separated from bovine serum using the respective ABS. Different serum dilutions were further investigated to improve the separation performance. Under the best identified conditions, BSA can be extracted from bovine serum with a recovery yield of 85.6% and a purity of 61.2%. Moreover, it is shown that the BSA secondary structure is maintained in the extraction process, i.e., after being extracted to the IL-rich phase. Overall, the new ABS herein proposed may be used as an alternative platform for the purification of BSA from serum samples and can be applied to other added-value proteins.
This work aims to explore the gas permeation performance of two newly-designed ionic liquids, [C2mim][CF3BF3] and [C2mim][CF3SO2C(CN)2], in supported ionic liquid membranes (SILM) configuration, as another effort to provide an overall insight on the gas permeation performance of functionalized-ionic liquids with the [C2mim]+ cation. [C2mim][CF3BF3] and [C2mim][CF3SO2C(CN)2] single gas separation performance towards CO2, N2, and CH4 at T = 293 K and T = 308 K were measured using the time-lag method. Assessing the CO2 permeation results, [C2mim][CF3BF3] showed an undermined value of 710 Barrer at 293.15 K and 1 bar of feed pressure when compared to [C2mim][BF4], whereas for the [C2mim][CF3SO2C(CN)2] IL an unexpected CO2 permeability of 1095 Barrer was attained at the same experimental conditions, overcoming the results for the remaining ILs used for comparison. The prepared membranes exhibited diverse permselectivities, varying from 16.9 to 22.2 for CO2/CH4 and 37.0 to 44.4 for CO2/N2 gas pairs. The thermophysical properties of the [C2mim][CF3BF3] and [C2mim][CF3SO2C(CN)2] ILs were also determined in the range of T = 293.15 K up to T = 353.15 K at atmospheric pressure and compared with those for other ILs with the same cation and anion’s with similar chemical moieties.