Investigation of Dithiolenes for Propylene/Propane Membrane Separations
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Polyimide membranes containing nickel dithiolenes were investigated for the separation of propylene and propane. Permeation and sorption experiments were conducted as well thermal property analyses. Results indicate that the dithiolene has an antiplasticizing effect on the polymers studied. Upon addition of the dithiolene there is a subsequent reduction in the permeability coefficient and the permeability selectivity remains relatively unchanged. There is some evidence of increases in solubility selectivity, but a larger decrease in diffusivity selectivity results in a decrease in the permeability selectivity. Investigation of the thermal and mechanical properties of dithiolene-containing films indicates a reduction in fractional free volume as well as the glass transition temperature when compared to the pure polymer. There is also an increase in the modulus of the films upon addition of the dithiolene. The implications of these results and their correlation with antiplasticization are discussed.