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Method for the production of fabricated hollow microspheroids

United States Patent

June 9, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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The method relates to the fabrication of a polymer microspheres comprised of an asymmetric layer surrounding a hollow interior. The fabricated hollow microsphere is generated from a nascent hollow microsphere comprised of an inner core of core fluid surrounded by a dope layer of polymer dope, where the thickness of the dope layer is at least 10% and less than 50% of the diameter of the inner core. The nascent hollow microsphere is exposed to a gaseous environment, generating a vitrified hollow microsphere, which is subsequently immersed in a coagulation bath. Solvent exchange produces a fabricated hollow microsphere comprised of a densified outer skin surrounding a macroporous inner layer, which surrounds a hollow interior. In an embodiment, the polymer is a polyimide or a polyamide-imide, and the non-solvent in the core fluid and the coagulation bath is water. The fabricated hollow microspheres are particularly suited as solvent supports for gas separation processes.
Wickramanayake; Shan (Pittsburgh, PA), Luebke; David R. (Bethel Park, PA)
U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
13/ 622,001
September 18, 2012
GOVERNMENT INTERESTS The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to the employer-employee relationship of the Government to the inventors as U.S. Department of Energy employees and site-support contractors at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.