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Advances in Polymer Technology
Volume 2019, Article ID 2924961, 10 pages
Research Article

CO2-Philic [EMIM][Tf2N] Modified Silica in Mixed Matrix Membrane for High Performance CO2/CH4 Separation

1Department of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), 32610 Seri Iskandar, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia
2Jurusan Pendidikan Kimia, Institut Keguruan Ilmu Pendidikan, Jalan Pemuda No. 59A, Mataram, Indonesia
3Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
4Centre of Excellence for Advanced Research in Fluid Flow (CARIFF), Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, 26600 Pekan, Pahang, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Nik Abdul Hadi Md Nordin; ym.ude.ptu@aaipas.idahan

Received 26 October 2018; Revised 12 December 2018; Accepted 23 December 2018; Published 3 January 2019

Academic Editor: Behnam Ghalei

Copyright © 2019 Siti Nur Alwani Shafie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Separation of carbon dioxide (CO2) from methane (CH4) using polymeric membranes is limited by trade-off between permeability and selectivity as depicted in Robeson curve. To overcome this challenge, this study develops membranes by incorporating silica particles (Si) modified with [EMIM][Tf2N] ionic liquid (IL) at different IL:Si ratio to achieve desirable membrane properties and gas separation performance. Results show that the IL:Si particle has been successfully prepared, indicated by the presence of fluorine and nitrogen elements, as observed via Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS). Incorporation of the modified particles into membrane has given prominent effects on morphology and polymer chain flexibility. The mixed matrix membrane (MMM) cross-section morphology turns rougher in the presence of IL:Si during fracture due to higher loadings of silica particles and IL. Furthermore, the MMM becomes more flexible with IL presence due to IL-induced plasticization, independent of IL:Si ratio. The MMM with low IL content possesses CO2 permeance of 34.60 ± 0.26 GPU with CO2/CH4 selectivity of 85.10, which is far superior to a pure polycarbonate (PC) and PC-Sil membranes at 2 bar, which surpasses the Robeson Upper Bound. This higher CO2 selectivity is due to the presences of CO2-philic IL within the MMM system.