Polyimides Applied for Pervaporation Membranes (pp. 129-170)
Authors: (Lan Ying Jiang, Zheng Wei Song, Jie Li, School of Metallurgical Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China, and others)
Abstract: Membrane pervaporation is regarded as the most promising technology for molecular-level liquid/liquid separations existing in petrochemical, pharmaceutical, biorefinery industries etc. Nevertheless, its application on an industrial scale has been hindered by the unavailability of appropriate membranes. One approach to overcome the challenge will rely on the material science and engineering to generate new membranes or improve the existing ones. The family of polyimides is distinguished due to an attractive set of properties under in-service conditions, which motivates this review on the polyimides membranes investigated for the current and potential pervaporation areas. As the basic guidelines for material selection and membrane development for pervaporation, first of all, the transport mechanism of pervaporation- the solution-diffusion mechanism- is introduced. The main part of the work is the discussion on the properties of various aspects of polyimides in relation to achieving high separation performance. They include physiochemical properties and chemistry versatility based on the macromolecule chemical constituent and/or configuration. As the key parameter for membrane fabrication, membrane micro- and macro-structure manipulation via molecular rearrangement is also included. Coupled with the above elaborations, a comparison between polyimides and other polymers in terms of pervaporation separation properties will highlight the pros and cons of the former. Based on the aforesaid information, the directions for future efforts are proposed to help promote the exploitation of polyimides in pervaporation.
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