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Nanocomposite and Nanostructured Polymeric Membranes for Gas and Vapour Separations (DoubleNanoMem)
Start date: 01 Jun 2009, End date: 31 May 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The main scope of the DoubleNanoMem project is the development of nanostructured membranes based on the most appropriate combination of nanofillers with well-defined size and porosity, dispersed in advanced high free volume polymers with inherent nanoporosity for application in specific gas and vapour separations. This approach is driven by the main requirement for successful replacement of traditional gas and vapour separation processes by membrane-based separations: a radical improvement of the permeability and selectivity compared to state-of-the-art commercially available membranes.The use of nanocomposite and nanostructured membrane materials is seen as one of the few approaches with the real potential to achieve this goal and in this respect several combinations of polymers and nanoparticles will be tested. Different types of nanoparticles will be used, which are all able or have the potential to create preferential channels for mass transport: both single wall and multi wall carbon nanotubes, zeolites, mesoporous silicas and cucurbituril derivatives. The idea is to create a scientific basis for the combination of advanced polymers with suitable nanoparticles, compatible with the corresponding polymers, leading to membranes with unique separation properties. The principle targets of the project are:- Development of membranes with tailored separation performance based on innovative materials- Experimental characterization and development of structure-performance relationships.- Modelling of transport phenomena and of the material’s structure to provide a better scientific understanding of gas and vapour transport phenomena and separation processes.- Applied research in a select number of consolidated and emerging areas of gas separation and pervaporation, such as CO2 separation from flue gas, natural gas processing, biofuel production.- Demonstration of the practical applicability of the developed principles and dissemination of the main achievements.
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