Hollow ZIF-8 nanoparticles improve the permeability of mixed matrix membranes for CO2/CH4 gas separation

Sinyoung Hwang, Won Seok Chi, Su Jin Lee, Sang Hyuk Im, Jong Hak Kim, Jinsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


Solvothermal surface coating was employed to form hetero-nanostructures consisting of a polystyrene (PS) core and ZIF-8 shell. Upon selective removal of the PS core, hollow zeolite imidazole frameworks (H_ZIF-8) with a particle size of 700nm and surface area of 1528.5m2/g were generated. Synthesis was confirmed by Field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis. Free-standing mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) were prepared by dispersing H_ZIF-8 filler in poly(vinyl chloride)-g-poly(oxyethylene methacrylate) (PVC-g-POEM) graft copolymer matrix. PVC-g-POEM worked well as a robust matrix to homogeneously disperse H_ZIF-8 with good interfacial contact due to the microphase-separated, amphiphilic properties of the hydrophobic glassy PVC main chains and the hydrophilic rubbery POEM side chains. Secondary bonding interactions were responsible for the good interfacial properties of the MMMs, as confirmed by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), FE-SEM, and XRD analysis. MMMs exhibited significantly enhanced CO2 permeability relative to pure PVC-g-POEM membranes: an 8.9-fold increase in permeability from 70.0 to 623Barrer (1Barrer=1×10-10cm3 (STP)˙cm/cm2scmHg) with only a small decrease in CO2/CH4 selectivity from 13.7 to 11.2 at 35°C, as measured via the time-lag method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 5
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a Grant from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( 2013R1A2A2A01014540 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V..


  • CO
  • Graft copolymer
  • Hollow
  • Mixed matrix membrane (MMM)
  • Zeolite imidazole framework (ZIF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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