Structure-permeability relationships in silicone polymers

Authors

  • S. A. Stern,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244
    • Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244
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  • V. M. Shah,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244
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  • B. J. Hardy

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244
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Abstract

Permeability coefficients P for He, O2, N2, CO2 CH4, C2H4, C2H6, and C3H8 in 12 different silicone polymer membranes were determined at 35.0°C and pressures up to 9 atm. Values of P for CO2, CH4, and C3H8 were also determined at 10.0 and 55.0°C. In addition, mean diffusion coefficients D and solubility coefficients S were obtained for CO2, CH4, and C3H8 in 6 silicone polymers at 10.0, 35.0, and 55.0°C. Substitution of increasingly bulkier functional groups in the side and backbone chains of silicone polymers results in a significant decrease in P for a given penetrant gas. This is due mainly to a decrease in D, whereas S decreases to a much lesser extent. Backbone substitutions appear to have a somewhat lesser effect in depressing P than equivalent side-chain substitutions. The selectivity of a silicone membrane for a gas A relative to a gas B, i.e., the permeability ratio P(A)/P(B), may increase or decrease as a result of such substitutions, but only if the substituted groups are sufficiently bulky. The selectivity of the more highly permeable silicone membranes is controlled by the ratio S(A)/S(B), whereas the selectivity of the less permeable membranes depends on both the ratios D(A)/D(B) and S(A)/S(B). The permeability as well as the selectivity of one silicone membrane toward CO2 were significantly enhanced by the substitution of a fluorine-containing side group that increased the solubility of CO2 in that polymer.

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