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A Stability Study of the MOF-5 Membrane

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Within recent years, metal-organic frameworks, or MOF’s, have gained a lot of attention in the materials research community. These micro-porous materials are constructed of a metal oxide core and organic linkers, and have a wide-variety of applications due to their

Within recent years, metal-organic frameworks, or MOF’s, have gained a lot of attention in the materials research community. These micro-porous materials are constructed of a metal oxide core and organic linkers, and have a wide-variety of applications due to their extensive material characteristic possibilities. The focus of this study is the MOF-5 material, specifically its chemical stability in air. The MOF-5 material has a large pore size of 8 Å, and aperture sizes of 15 and 12 Å. The pore size, pore functionality, and physically stable structure makes MOF-5 a desirable material. MOF-5 holds applications in gas/liquid separation, catalysis, and gas storage. The main problem with the MOF-5 material, however, is its instability in atmospheric air. This inherent instability is due to the water in air binding to the zinc-oxide core, effectively changing the material and its structure. Because of this material weakness, the MOF-5 material is difficult to be utilized in industrial applications. Through the research efforts proposed by this study, the stability of the MOF-5 powder and membrane were studied. MOF-5 powder and a MOF-5 membrane were synthesized and characterized using XRD analysis. In an attempt to improve the stability of MOF-5 in air, methyl groups were added to the organic linker in order to hinder the interaction of water with the Zn4O core. This was done by replacing the terepthalic acid organic linker with 2,5-dimethyl terephthalic acid in the powder and membrane synthesis steps. The methyl-modified MOF-5 powder was found to be stable after several days of exposure to air while the MOF-5 powder exhibited significant crystalline change. The methyl-modified membrane was found to be unstable when synthesized using the same procedure as the MOF-5 membrane.

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2016-05

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Bi-phase Synthesis of the Zirconium Metal-Organic Framework, UiO-66

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Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new set of porous materials comprised of metals or metal clusters bonded together in a coordination system by organic linkers. They are becoming popular for gas separations due to their abilities to be tailored toward

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new set of porous materials comprised of metals or metal clusters bonded together in a coordination system by organic linkers. They are becoming popular for gas separations due to their abilities to be tailored toward specific applications. Zirconium MOFs in particular are known for their high stability under standard temperature and pressure due to the strength of the Zirconium-Oxygen coordination bond. However, the acid modulator needed to ensure long range order of the product also prevents complete linker deprotonation. This leads to a powder product that cannot easily be incorporated into continuous MOF membranes. This study therefore implemented a new bi-phase synthesis technique with a deprotonating agent to achieve intergrowth in UiO-66 membranes. Crystal intergrowth will allow for effective gas separations and future permeation testing. During experimentation, successful intergrown UiO-66 membranes were synthesized and characterized. The degree of intergrowth and crystal orientations varied with changing deprotonating agent concentration, modulator concentration, and ligand:modulator ratios. Further studies will focus on achieving the same results on porous substrates.

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2016-12

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Stability, Transport and Modification of Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-8 Membranes for Light Hydrocarbon Separations

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Membrane technology is a viable option to debottleneck distillation processes and minimize the energy burden associated with light hydrocarbon mixture separations. Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) are a new class of microporous metal-organic frameworks with highly tailorable zeolitic pores and unprecedented

Membrane technology is a viable option to debottleneck distillation processes and minimize the energy burden associated with light hydrocarbon mixture separations. Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) are a new class of microporous metal-organic frameworks with highly tailorable zeolitic pores and unprecedented separation characteristics. ZIF-8 membranes demonstrate superior separation performance for propylene/propane (C3) and hydrogen/hydrocarbon mixtures at room temperature. However, to date, little is known about the static thermal stability and ethylene/ethane (C2) separation characteristics of ZIF-8. This dissertation presents a set of fundamental studies to investigate the thermal stability, transport and modification of ZIF-8 membranes for light hydrocarbon separations.

Static TGA decomposition kinetics studies show that ZIF-8 nanocrystals maintain their crystallinity up to 200○C in inert, oxidizing and reducing atmospheres. At temperatures of 250○C and higher, the findings herein support the postulation that ZIF-8 nanocrystals undergo temperature induced decomposition via thermolytic bond cleaving reactions to form an imidazole-Zn-azirine structure. The crystallinity/bond integrity of ZIF-8 membrane thin films is maintained at temperatures below 150○C.

Ethane and ethylene transport was studied in single and binary gas mixtures. Thermodynamic parameters derived from membrane permeation and crystal adsorption experiments show that the C2 transport mechanism is controlled by adsorption rather than diffusion. Low activation energy of diffusion values for both C2 molecules and limited energetic/entropic diffusive selectivity are observed for C2 molecules despite being larger than the nominal ZIF-8 pore aperture and is due to pore flexibility.

Finally, ZIF-8 membranes were modified with 5,6 dimethylbenzimidazole through solvent assisted membrane surface ligand exchange to narrow the pore aperture for enhanced molecular sieving. Results show that relatively fast exchange kinetics occur at the mainly at the outer ZIF-8 membrane surface between 0-30 minutes of exchange. Short-time exchange enables C3 selectivity increases with minimal olefin permeance losses. As the reaction proceeds, the ligand exchange rate slows as the 5,6 DMBIm linker proceeds into the ZIF-8 inner surface, exchanges with the original linker and first disrupts the original framework’s crystallinity, then increases order as the reaction proceeds. The ligand exchange rate increases with temperature and the H2/C2 separation factor increases with increases in ligand exchange time and temperature.

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Date Created
2017

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Zwitterionic poly (arylene ether sulfone) copolymers: membrane applications and fundamentals

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Zwitterionic polymers, due to their supurior capability of electrostatically induced hydration, have been considered as effective functionalities to alleviate bio-fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. Bulk modification of polysulfone-based matrices to improve hydrophilicity, on the other hand, is favored due

Zwitterionic polymers, due to their supurior capability of electrostatically induced hydration, have been considered as effective functionalities to alleviate bio-fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. Bulk modification of polysulfone-based matrices to improve hydrophilicity, on the other hand, is favored due to the high membrane performance, processibility, and intrinsic chlorine resistance. Here a novel synthetic method was demonstrated to prepare zwitterionic poly(arylene ether sulfone) (PAES) copolymers, which was blended with native polysulfone (PSf) to fabricate free-standing asymmetric membranes via non-solvent induced phase separation process. Both the porosity of the support layer and surface hydrophilicity increased drastically due to the incorporation of zwitterion functionalities in the rigid polysulfone matrix. The water permeance and antifouling ability of the blend membranes were both remarkably improved to 2.5 Lm−2 h−1 bar−1 and 94% of flux recovery ratio, respectively, while salt rejection remained at a high level (98%) even under the high exposure to chlorine (8,000 ppm•h). Besides the preliminary blended membrane design, for the future membrane property enhancement, this dissertation also focused on polymer structure optimizations via elucidating the fundamentals from two perspectives: 1). Synthetic reaction kinetics and mechanisms on polycondensation of PAES. Interestingly, in combination of experiments and the computational calculations by density functional theory (DFT) methods in this work, only the aryl chlorides (ArCl) monomer follows the classical second-order reaction kinetics of aromatic nucleophilic substitution (SNAr) mechanism, while the kinetics of the aryl fluorides (ArF) reaction fit a third-order rate law. The third order reaction behavior of the ArF monomer is attributed to the activation of the carbon-fluorine bond by two potassium cations (at least one bounded to phenolate), which associate as a strong three-body complex. This complex acts as the predominant reactant during the attack by the nucleophile. 2). Optimized copolymer structures were developed for controlled high molecular weight (Mw ~ 65 kDa) and zwitterionic charge content (0~100 mol%), via off-set stoichiometry during polycondensations, following with thiol-ene click reaction and ring-opening of sultone to introduce the sulfobetaine functional groups. The structure-property-morphology relationships were elucidated for better understanding atomic-level features in the charged polymers for future high-performance desalination applications.

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2019