Fabrication of Defect-Free P84® Polyimide Hollow Fiber for Gas Separation: Pathway to Formation of Optimized Structure
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Hollow fiber spinning
Ultrathin skin layer
The elimination of the additional defect healing post-treatment step in asymmetric hollow fiber manufacturing would result in a significant reduction in membrane production cost. However, obtaining integrally skinned polymeric asymmetric hollow fiber membranes with an ultrathin and defect-free selective layer is quite challenging. In this study, P84® asymmetric hollow fiber membranes with a highly thin (~56 nm) defect-free skin were successfully fabricated by fine tuning the dope composition and spinning parameters using volatile additive (tetrahydrofuran, THF) as key parameters. An extensive experimental and theoretical study of the influence of volatile THF addition on the solubility parameter of the N-methylpyrrolidone/THF solvent mixture was performed. Although THF itself is not a solvent for P84®, in a mixture with a good solvent for the polymer, like N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), it can be dissolved at high THF concentrations (NMP/THF ratio > 0.52). The as-spun fibers had a repro ...