LEE- Kimya Mühendisliği-Doktora
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ÖgeInvestigation of plasticization behavior of membrane polymers by a fully atomistic approach(Graduate School, 2021-02-01) Balçık, Marcel ; Ahunbay, Mehmet Göktuğ ; 506152004 ; Chemical Engineering ; Kimya MühendisliğiThe increasing influence of polymeric gas separation membranes in the gas separation industry expedites the pursuit of the polymeric materials to be employed as the membranes. While high permeability and selectivity are anticipated from a commercial membrane material candidate, the plasticization phenomenon should not be disregarded. Several gases, such as CO2, H2S, and condensable hydrocarbons, are known to stimulate increased mobility of polymer segments, subsequently to the gas-induced swelling of the membrane, eventually leading to plasticization. Since the plasticization phenomenon is highly related to the increased free volume of the membrane, sieving capabilities of the membrane are lost with the plasticization, leading to a loss in selectivities. The plasticization phenomenon is dependent on the concentration of the swelling gases and is usually identified with the corresponding pressure of the gas. The plasticization pressures of the membranes are the determining factor in the operating ranges of the membranes. Polyimides (PIs) and Polymers with Intrinsic Microporisities(PIMS) are the polymer classes with the highest potentials to be used as gas separation membrane materials. Polymers belonging to both of the classes have already proven to have excelling gas separation performances. However, their gas separation performances and the effect of gas-induced plasticization remain vastly unstudied. Fundamental understanding of the gas separation performance, plasticization and methods of suppressing plasticization in PIs and PIMs is expected to accelerate the efforts in search of high-performance gas separation materials. In this thesis, molecular simulation tools were employed to understand underlying causes leading to macroscopic behaviors, such as gas permeabilities, swelling, and plasticization, in polymeric membranes. Copolyimides (co-PIs) were studied for their plasticization resistance and method development was performed for modeling gas separation performance and plasticization resistance accurately. Later on, the effect of crosslinking on co-PIs in terms of gas permeabilities and plasticization resistance was investigated in detail, particularly with the help of PAFVCO2+ property, a free volume analysis based on CO2 accessibility, which will be explained in detail in relevant chapters. Mixed Matrix Membranes(MMMs) were studied for their plasticization resistance and segmental dynamics of the polymer phase at the interface. The information obtained from the plasticization studies on PIs were then transferred to PIMs, where PIM-1 was studied for pure and mixed gas separation performance and plasticization resistance. The approach was further extended to triptycene-based PIMs, among which three were novel. One of the most important outcomes of this thesis is the development of atomistic simulation protocols for the accurate estimations of plasticization pressures of PIs and PIMs. While permeabilities could be monitored for plasticization, as in experimental studies, molecular modeling also allows monitoring of free volume elements and correlate to the plasticization pressure. The latter was further extended to analyze the rigidification phenomenon in MMMs and the rigidification effect induced by CO2 was identifed for the first time. Plasticization and mixed gas studies on PIMs have proven that conventional approaches to analyze plasticization in polymers are not adequate, as loss of selectivities in mixed gas conditions were shown to be not only associated with the traditional definition of plasticization. In mixed gas conditions, before upturn of CO2 permeabilities, increased CH4 permeabilities compared to pure gas conditions were observed. Additional effects on the gas permeabilities, such as competitive sorption and increased CH4 diffusivities by CO2-induced swelling, are existent in mixed gas conditions, leading to a more complex concept of plasticization.