Modelling across Multiple Scales to Design Biopolymer Membranes for Sustainable Gas Separations: 1—Atomistic Approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In this work, we assessed the CO2 and CH4 sorption and transport in copolymers of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV), which showed good CO2 capture potential in our previous papers, thanks to their good solubility–selectivity, and are potential biodegradable alternatives to standard membrane-separation materials. Experimental tests were carried out on a commercial material containing 8% of 3-hydroxyvalerate (HV), while molecular modelling was used to screen the performance of the copolymers across the entire composition range by simulating structures with 0%, 8%, 60%, and 100% HV, with the aim to provide a guide for the selection of the membrane material. The polymers were simulated using molecular dynamics (MD) models and validated against experimental density, solubility parameters, and X-ray diffraction. The CO2/CH4 solubility–selectivity predicted by the Widom insertion method is in good agreement with experimental data, while the diffusivity–selectivity obtained via mean square displacement is somewhat overestimated. Overall, simulations indicate promising behaviour for the homopolymer containing 100% of HV. In part 2 of this series of papers, we will investigate the same biomaterials using a macroscopic model for polymers and compare the accuracy and performance of the two approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1805
Pages (from-to)1805
JournalPolymers
Volume15
Issue number7
Early online date6 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Apr 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • biopolymers
  • gas separation
  • molecular modelling

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