Carbon hollow fiber membranes derived from polymer blend of polyetherimide and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) were extensively prepared through stabilization under air atmosphere followed by carbonization under N2 atmosphere. The effects of the PVP compositions on the thermal behavior, structure, and gas permeation properties were investigated thoroughly by means of differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, and pure gas permeation apparatus. The experimental results indicate that the transport mechanism of small gas molecules of N2, CO2, and CH4 is dominated by the molecular sieving effect. The gas permeation properties of the prepared carbon membranes have a strong dependency on PVP composition. The carbon membranes prepared from polymer blends with 6 wt % PVP demonstrated the highest CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 selectivities of 55.33 and 41.50, respectively. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 58: 3167–3175, 2012
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