Tuesday, March 31, 2009

US Patent 7510595 - Metal oxide nanoparticle composite with high gas permeability


A variety of polymers are useful for gas separation processes but often require a sacrifice in permeability to achieve higher selectivity in the gases being separated resulting in a bottleneck in chemical processing. This patent from the University of Texas System teaches a polymer gas separation film achieving both high selectivity and high permeability by incorporating metal oxide nanoparticles. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nonporous metal oxide nanoparticle filled polymer with similar gas selectivity and greater gas permeability than a native polymer, wherein the nonporous metal oxide nanoparticle filled polymer comprises:

one or more nonporous metal oxide nanoparticles dispersed within one or more polymeric materials in a polymer:nanoparticle weight ratio of between 5:1 and 0.5:1, wherein the metal oxide nanoparticle filled polymer behaves as a nanocomposite that has a greater gas permeability than the native polymer.