• membranes;
  • pervaporation;
  • n-butanol;
  • PEBA;
  • ZSM-5 zeolite


Composite membranes were prepared by incorporating ZSM-5 zeolite into poly(ether-block-amide) (PEBA) membranes. These composite membranes were characterized by TGA, XRD, and SEM. The results showed that the zeolite could distribute well in the polymer matrix. And when the zeolite content reached 10%, the agglomeration of zeolite in the membranes was found. The composite membranes were used to the pervaporative separation of n-butanol aqueous solution. The effect of zeolite content on pervaporation performance was investigated. With the contribution of preferential adsorption and diffusion of n-butanol in the polymer matrix and zeolite channel, the 5% ZSM-5-PEBA membrane showed enhanced selectivity and flux. The effects of liquid temperature and concentration on separation performance were also investigated. All the composite membranes demonstrated increasing separation factor and permeation flux with increasing temperature and concentration. Incorporation of ZSM-5 could decrease the activation energy of n-butanol flux of the composite membrane. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013