Metal Organic Framework Crystals in Mixed-Matrix Membranes: Impact of the Filler Morphology on the Gas Separation Performance

Anahid Sabetghadam, Beatriz Seoane, Damla Keskin, Nicole Duim, Tania Rodenas, Salman Shahid, Sara Sorribas, Clément Le Guillouzer, Guillaume Clet, Carlos Tellez, Marco Daturi, Joaquin Coronas, Freek Kapteijn, Jorge Gascon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Citations (SciVal)


Mixed-matrix membranes comprising NH2-MIL-53(Al) and Matrimid or 6FDA-DAM have been investigated. The metal organic framework (MOF) loading has been varied between 5 and 20 wt%, while NH2-MIL-53(Al) with three different morphologies, nanoparticles, nanorods, and microneedles has been dispersed in Matrimid. The synthesized membranes have been tested in the separation of CO2 from CH4 in an equimolar mixture. At 3 bar and 298 K for 8 wt% MOF loading, incorporation of NH2-MIL-53(Al) nanoparticles leads to the largest improvement compared to nanorods and microneedles. The incorporation of the best performing filler, i.e., NH2-MIL-53(Al) nanoparticles, into the highly permeable 6FDA-DAM has a larger effect, and the CO2 permeability increases up to 85% with slightly lower selectivities for 20 wt% MOF loading. Specifically, these membranes have a permeability of 660 Barrer with a CO2/CH4 separation factor of 28, leading to a performance very close to the Robeson limit of 2008. Furthermore, a new non-destructive technique based on Raman spectroscopy mapping is introduced to assess the homogeneity of the filler dispersion in the polymer matrix. The MOF contribution can be calculated by modeling the spectra. The determined homogeneity of the MOF filler distribution in the polymer is confirmed by focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3154-3163
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number18
Early online date10 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2016


  • gas separation
  • metal-organic frameworks
  • mixed-matrix membranes
  • natural gas and biogas upgrading
  • NH-MIL-53(Al)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry


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