A microporous carboxylate metal-organic framework MIL-100 Fe was prepared as submicron particles by microwave-assisted hydrothermal synthesis (Fe-MOF-MW). This product was explored, for the first time, for the preparation of polylactic acid (PLA) mixed matrix membranes. The produced MOF was characterised by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) as well as by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and nitrogen adsorption/desorption. The effect of different Fe-MOF-MW concentrations (0.1 and 0.5 wt%) on the membrane properties and performance were evaluated. These membranes were used in the pervaporation process for the separation of methanol/methyl tert-butyl-ether mixtures at the azeotropic point. The influence of the feed temperature and vacuum pressure on the membrane performance was evaluated and the results were compared with PLA pristine membranes. Moreover, the produced membranes have been characterised in terms of morphology, MOF dispersion in the polymeric membrane matrix, wettability, thickness, mechanical resistance and swelling propensity. The presence of Fe-MOF-MW was found to have a beneficial effect in improving the selectivity of mixed matrix membranes towards methanol at both concentrations. The highest selectivity was obtained for the PLA membranes embedded with 0.5 wt% of Fe-MOF-MW and tested at the temperature of 25 °C and vacuum pressure of 0.09 mbar.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge Nicolas Godbert, from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technologies of the University of Calabria (Italy), for the performing the EDX measurements.
© 2021 by the authors.
- Iron metal organic-framework
- Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)
- Organic-organic separation
- Polylactic acid (PLA)