Master assignment: Advanced hollow fibers for high temperature gas separation
We recently demonstrated hyper-cross-linked hybrid membranes that are capable of sieving hot gasses at temperatures up to 300 ºC. These membrane are fabricated by polymerization of an inorganic reactant, dissolved in water, and an organic precursor, dissolved in an organic solvent. A porous support structure is impregnated with the aqueous solution, and then brought in contact with the organic solution. The polymerization is confined to the interface of the two immiscible solvents, resulting in an inherently thin film (~10-7 m) on top of the porous support.1 Before such a membrane can be applied on an industrial scale, scale up of the membrane area is required. Porous inorganic hollow fibers have a very high surface to volume ratio and are therefore provide an ideal geometry for industrial processes.
In this assignment, the student will get familiar with interfacial polymerization (IP) reactions using a flat geometry, and the preparation of hollow fiber supports that will be utilized in this study. Later, the student will combine the knowledge of these two processes to fabricate fibers that are selective in H2/N2 separations. At first stage single fiber modules will be build, but in a later stage also the development of multi-fiber modules can be considered.