Controlled Covalent Functionalization of ZIF-90 for Selective CO2 Capture & Separation

Muhammad Usman*, Mohd Yusuf Khan, Tanzila Anjum, Asim Laeeq Khan, Bosirul Hoque, Aasif Helal, Abbas Saeed Hakeem, Bassem A. Al-Maythalony

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Mixed Matrix Membranes (MMM) with enhanced selectivity and permeability are preferred for gas separations. The porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) materials incorporated in them play a crucial part in improving the performance of MMM. In this study, Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIF-90) are selected to fabricate Polyetherimide (PEI) MMMs owing to their lucrative structural and chemical properties. This work reports new controlled post-synthetic modifications of ZIF-90 (50-PSM-ZIF-90) with ethanolamine to control the diffusion and uptake of CO2. Physical and chemical properties of ZIF-90, such as stability and presence of aldehyde functionality in the imidazolate linker, allow for easy modulation of the ZIF-90 pores and window size to tune the gas transport properties across ZIF-90-based membranes. Effects of these materials were investigated on the performance of MMMs and compared with pure PEI membranes. Performance of the MMMs was evaluated in terms of permeability of different gases and selective separation of CO2 and H2 gas. Results presented that the permeability of all membranes was in the following order, i.e., P(H2) > P(CO2) > P(O2) > P(CH4) > P(C2H6) > P(C3H8) > P(N2), demonstrating that kinetic gas diffusion is the predominant gas transport mode in these membranes. Among all the membranes, permeability of pure PEI membrane was highest for all gases due to the uniform porous morphology. The pure PEI membrane showed highest permeability of H2, which is 486.5 Barrer, followed by 49 Barrer for O2, 29 Barrer for N2, 142 Barrer for CO2, 41 Barrer for CH4, 40 Barrer for C2H6 and 39.6 Barrer for C3H8. Results also confirm the superiority of controlled PSM-ZIF-90-PEI membrane over the pure PEI and ZIF-90-PEI membranes in CO2 and H2 separation performance. The 50-PSM-ZIF-90 PEI membrane exhibited a 20% increase in CO2 separation from methane and a 26% increase over nitrogen compared to the ZIF-90-PEI membrane. The 50-PSM-ZIF-90 PEI membrane showed 15% more H2/O2 separation and 9% more H2/CH4 separation than ZIF-90 PEI membrane. Overall, this study represents the role of controlled PSM in enhancing the property of new materials like ZIF and its application in MMMs fabrication to develop a promising approach for the CO2 capture and separation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1055
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to acknowledge the support provided by the Deanship of Research Oversight and Coordination (DROC) at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and project no. DF181004.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • CO capture
  • CO separation
  • ZIF-90
  • ethanolamine
  • functionalization
  • membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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