Microporous Mixed Matrix Membranes

Physical Sciences : Chemical

Available for licensing

Inventors

  • Douglas Lloyd, Ph.D. , Chemical Engineering
  • Caleb Funk , Chemical Engineering

Background/unmet need

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.

Benefits/Advantages

  • High structural rigidity
  • Low costs
  • Higher selectivity
  • Increased flux

Features

  • 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