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Mixed matrix membranes of H-ZSM5-loaded poly(vinyl alcohol) used in pervaporation dehydration of alcohols: Influence of silica/alumina ratio



Mixed matrix membranes of poly(vinyl alcohol) loaded with zeolite particles having different silica alumina ratio were prepared and used in the pervaporation dehydration of ethanol and isopropanol (IPA) from their aqueous mixtures. The membranes were characterized by physicochemical techniques that revealed higher interaction between polymer and zeolite particles having higher alumina than those with lower alumina in the zeolite framework. Both, membrane selectivity to water and flux were increased as the alumina content in the zeolite increases. Separation factors of zeolite with lower alumina incorporated membranes were, respectively, 236 and 334 for the feed mixture compositions of 4 wt% water in ethanol and 10 wt% water in IPA at 30°C. On the other hand, membranes containing zeolites with higher alumina content showed slightly higher separation factors of 349 and 568, respectively, for the same feed mixtures at 30°C. Such an incremental improvement in membrane performance with increase in alumina content in the zeolite framework is attributed to favorable interaction between zeolite particles and the polymer matrix. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 54:1774–1782, 2014. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers