Microporous Mixed Matrix Membranes
Background Dense mixed matrix membranes have been researched for many years since they are easier to produce than zeolite membranes, they are durable and flexible, and they offer a performance enhancement over polymer membranes. However, dense mixed matrix membranes have limited improved selectivity over pure polymer and the polymer-zeolite interphase formation directly affects the membrane's performance.
Invention Description Inventors at UT Austin have created a new high selectivity polymer-zeolite membrane structure that is useful for both water purification and gas separation. The new membrane structure consists of a microporous matrix of virtually impermeable polymer containing dispersed nano-porous zeolite particles. The matrix is formed in such a way that no microporous channel can reach completely across the membrane without blockage by at least one zeolite particle, forcing the permeate to diffuse through the zeolite particles.
High structural rigidity Low costs Higher selectivity Increased flux
Membranes can be formed as sheets or hollow fibers Allows gas or water to quickly reach the selective zeolite particles
Market Potential/Applications Water purification; gas separation
IP Status One PCT patent application filed
UT Researcher Douglas R. Lloyd, Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin Caleb V. Funk, Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
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