Synthesis and characterization of polybenzimidazoles derived from tetraaminodiphenylsulfone for high temperature gas separation membranes

Hailun Borjigin, Kevin A. Stevens, Ran Liu, Joshua D. Moon, Andrew T. Shaver, Steve Swinnea, Benny D. Freeman, J. S. Riffle, James E. McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract A series of polybenzimidazoles containing sulfonyl groups were synthesized in Eaton's reagent for high temperature H2/CO2 separation membranes. The key monomer, 3,3′,4,4′-tetraaminodiphenylsulfone, was prepared via a novel and economical synthetic route starting from 4,4′-dichlorodiphenylsulfone. These polybenzimidazoles with sulfonyl moieties had enhanced solubilities in dipolar aprotic solvents relative to the commercial Celazole® that is prepared from diaminobenzidine. Thermal gravimetric analysis showed that the materials were stable at elevated temperatures with 5% weight loss values of at least 485 °C in either air or N2. Glass transition temperatures of three polybenzimidazoles in this series were ascertained by dynamic mechanical analysis to be 438-480 °C. These sulfonyl-containing polybenzimidazoles exhibited excellent gas separation properties for H2/CO2. Polymers from tetraaminodiphenylsulfone and either terephthalic or isophthalic acid crossed Robeson's upper bound for H2/CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17919
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gas separation
  • Polybenzimidazole
  • Pre-combustion syngas separation

Cite this