The Effect of Solution Casting Temperature and Ultrasound Treatment on PEBAX MH-1657/ZIF-8 Mixed Matrix Membranes Morphology and Performance

Elsa Lasseuguette, Louise Fielder-Dunton, Qian Jia, Maria-Chiara Ferrari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Approximately two-thirds of anthropogenic emissions causing global warming are from carbon dioxide. Carbon capture is essential, with membranes proving to be a low cost and energy-efficient solution to alternative technologies. In particular, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) can have higher permeability and selectivity than pure polymer membranes. The fabrication conditions affect the formation of defects within the membranes. In this work, MMMs were created using a PEBAX MH-1657 polymer and a ZIF-8 filler. The effect of casting plate temperature, varying from −5 °C to 50 °C, and the effect of ultrasound treatment time (80–400 min) and method (filler solution only, filler and polymer combined solution only and filler solution followed by combined solution) were investigated, aiming to reduce defect formations hence improving the performance of the MMMs. SEM images and permeation tests using pure CO2 and N2 gas, replicating flue gas for carbon capture, were used to investigate and compare the membranes morphology and performance. The results indicated that the MMMs maintained their permeabilities and selectivities at all tested casting temperatures. However, the neat PEBAX membranes demonstrated increased phase separation of the polyamide and polyether oxide phases at higher temperatures, causing a reduction in permeability due to the higher crystallinity degree, confirmed by DSC experiment. The MMMs fabricated at low ultrasound times displayed a large amount of aggregation with large particle size causing channeling. At high ultrasound times, a well-dispersed filler with small filler diameters was observed, providing a high membrane performance. Overall, defect-free membranes were successfully fabricated, leading to improved performance, with the best membrane resulting from the longest ultrasound time reaching the Robeson bound upper limits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number584
Number of pages17
Issue number6
Early online date31 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • mixed matrix membranes
  • ZIF-8
  • CO2 permeability
  • crystallinity
  • casting temperature
  • casting temperature


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