For ethylene/ethane separation, a CMS (carbon molecular sieve) membrane was developed with a PAN (polyacrylonitrile) polymer precursor on an alumina support. To provide an excellent thermal property to PAN precursor prior to the pyrolysis, the stabilization as a pre-treatment process was carried out. Tuning the stabilization condition was very important to successfully preparing the CMS membrane derived from the PAN precursor. The stabilization and pyrolysis processes for the PAN precursor were finely tuned, and optimized in terms of stabilization temperature and time, as well as pyrolysis temperature, heating rate, and soaking time. The PAN stabilized at >250◦C showed improved thermal stability and carbon yield. The CMS membrane derived from stabilized PAN showed reasonable separation performance for ethylene permeance (0.71 GPU) and ethylene/ethane selectivity (7.62), respectively. Increasing the pyrolysis temperature and soaking time gave rise to an increase in the gas permeance, and a reduction in the membrane selectivity. This trend was opposite to that for the CMS membranes derived from other polymer precursors. The optimized separation performance (ethylene permeance of 2.97 GPU and ethylene/ethane selectivity of 7.25) could be achieved at the pyrolysis temperature of 650◦C with a soaking time of 1 h. The separation performance of the CMS membrane derived from the PAN precursor was comparable to that of other polymer precursors, and surpassed them regarding the upper bound trade off.
- Carbon molecular sieve membrane
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Filtration and Separation