5 years ago

Molecular Simulations of Solute Transport in Polymer Melts

Molecular Simulations of Solute Transport in Polymer Melts
Sanat K. Kumar, Kai Zhang
Polymer membranes are typically used to separate gas mixtures on the basis of molecular size differences (“sieving”). The gas purity is known to be inversely proportional to the membrane flux, and the slope of this plot in glassy polymers is empirically found to be determined by the sizes of the gas molecules being separated, λ = (dB/dA)2 – 1. Despite potential mechanistic differences, the separation performance of rubbery polymers is often discussed in the same framework as their glassy counterparts. Here we perform molecular dynamics simulations of spherical solutes in coarse-grained high-density, high temperature polymer melts to gain a molecular understanding of their transport and separation behavior. We find that the diffusion coefficient follows an exponential law Dead. Since this dependence results in λ = dB/dA – 1, these findings do not provide a direct understanding of the experimentally deduced slope of the Robeson plot.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.7b00339

DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.7b00339

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