Polymer based membranes are one of the low-cost technologies available for the gas separation. Three major elements required for a commercial gas separating membrane are high permeability, high selectivity, and good mechanical strength. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) is a commercially available fluoropolymer and a widely used membrane material in gas separation devices since it possesses remarkable thermal, chemical stability, and excellent mechanical strength. The PVDF membrane was chemically modified by soaking in different ionic liquids and dried. The thermal behavior of modified membranes was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetry (TGA), and the results clearly show the best affinity between the ionic liquid and the polymer support. The porous structure of the PVDF membranes was clearly seen in the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. The CO₂ permeability of blended membranes was explored in comparison with the unmodified matrix. The ionic liquid immobilized in the hydrophobic PVDF support exhibited good performance for separations of CO₂/N₂. The improved permeability of modified membrane (PVDF-IL) is attributed to the high concentration of nitrogen rich imidazolium moieties.
High-density polyethylene reinforced with carbon nanofibers (HDPE/CNF) have been prepared via melt processing using dialkylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (ionic liquid) as a dispersion agent. The prepared samples were characterized by thermogravimetric (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) analyses. The samples blended with imidazolium ionic liquid exhibit higher thermal stability. DSC analysis showed clear miscibility of ionic liquid in the HDPE matrix and showed single endothermic peak. The melt rheological analysis of HDPE/CNF composites was performed using an oscillatory rheometer. The influence of CNF and ionic liquid concentration (ranging from 0, 0.5, and 1 wt%) on the viscoelastic parameters was investigated at 200 °C with an angular frequency range of 0.1 to 100 rad/s. The rheological analysis shows the shear-thinning behavior for the composites. An improvement in the viscoelastic properties was observed as the nanofiber concentration increases. The progress in the modulus values was attributed to the structural rigidity imparted by the high aspect ratio CNF. The modulus values and complex viscosity of the composites increased significantly at low frequencies. Composites blended with ionic liquid exhibit slightly lower values of complex viscosity and modulus over the corresponding HDPE/CNF compositions. Therefore, reduction in melt viscosity is an additional benefit for polymer composite processing as a result of wetting effect by polymer-ionic liquid combinations.