(8d) Solution-Based 3D Printing of Hierarchical Microporous Polymers for Energy-Efficient Adsorption
AIChE Annual Meeting
Sunday, November 10, 2019 - 4:36pm to 4:58pm
Current 3D printing methods have strong limitations in the classes of polymers that can be printed. This means that many polymers of technological interest cannot currently be 3D printed. Here, we demonstrate a generalizable method for 3D printing of viscoelastic polymer solutions and apply it to both porous (a polymer of intrinsic microporosity, PIM-1) and non-porous (e.g., cellulose acetate, Matrimid) polymers. Successful ternary ink formulations that result in the creation of three-dimensional structures with hierarchical porosity require balancing of solution thermodynamics (phase separation), mass transfer (solvent evaporation), and rheology. To demonstrate the utility of this approach, a microporous polymer (PIM-1) that cannot be printed with current 3D printing technologies is 3D printed into a high-efficiency respirator exhibiting hierarchical porosity ranging from sub-nanometer to millimeter pores. These short mass transfer contactors (1.27 cm) were challenged with a flow of toluene vapor (10000 ppm) in N2 gas. Owing to the precisely designed gas distribution channels, the 3D printed respirator were found to create a pure (< 1 ppm toluene) N2 stream for 1.7 hours, 6 times longer than traditional structures fabricated from the same PIM-1 material, and more than 4,000 times the residence time of gas in the bed. This solution-based additive manufacturing approach significantly extends the material spectrum of 3D printing technologies. By 3D printing adsorptive materials into precisely designed mass transfer contactor, the performance, energy efficiency, and material efficiency can be significantly improved.