(646e) Influence of Surface-Treated SiO2 on the Transport Behavior of O2 and N2 through Polydimethylsiloxane Nanocomposite Membrane

Authors: 
Lou, J., North Carolina A&T State University
Ogbole, E., North Carolina A&T State University
Ilias, S., North Carolina A&T State University
Deshmane, V. G., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Mixed matrix membranes were prepared with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and different weight percent surface-treated fumed silica (SiO2) to investigate the influence of SiO2 on transport behaviour of O2 and N2 gases in the nanocomposite membranes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) showed that OH functional group on the surface of SiO2 was consumed upon incorporation of the silica into the polymer matrix. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) results revealed that SiO2-PDMS has improved thermal property over neat PDMS, supporting the argument that there is good interaction between the polymer and the fumed silica. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of SiO2-PDMS membranes showed uniform dispersion of SiO2 nanoparticles in PDMS matrix. SiO2 nanoparticles disrupted and altered the PDMS polymer chains packing arrangement resulting in different membrane transport behaviour of both O2 and N2 gases in SiO2-PDMS compared to the neat PDMS membrane. While the O2 flux through SiO2-PDMS membranes was observed to increase with time, N2 flux decreased with time before attaining steady state. The 10wt%SiO2-PDMS membrane exhibited improved performance compared to neat PDMS membranes with O2/N2 selectivity and O2 permeability increased from 2.43 to 3.46 and 520 Barrer to 640 Barrer, respectively, at 30 psig. This improvement is attributed to the influence of the well dispersed SiO2 nanoparticles in the PDMS matrix.