Novel supported liquid membranes based on deep eutectic solvents for olefin-paraffin separation via facilitated transport

BinJiang, HaozhenDou, LuhongZhang, BaoyuWang, YongliSun, HuaweiYang, ZhaoheHuang, HanrongBi

School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China


  • Deep eutectic solvents were firstly employed to fabricate the supported liquid membranes.
  • Cu(I)-containing anionic species effectively facilitated the transport of ethylene.
  • Hydrogen-bond interactions activated and stabilized the Cu(I)-containing anionic species.
  • CuCl/DES-SLMs exhibited the comparable permeability and high selectivity.


Deep eutectic solvents (DESs), as a new generation of designer solvents, were firstly employed to fabricate the supported liquid membranes (SLMs) for the olefin/paraffin separation via facilitated transport. The novel CuCl/DESs-SLMs were prepared by impregnating the mixture of choline chloride-glycerol based DESs and copper (I) chloride (CuCl) into the microporous nylon membranes. The results of FTIR, 1HNMR and mass spectrometry (MS) confirmed the existence of various Cu (I)-containing anionic species and hydrogen-bond networks in the membrane liquid of CuCl/DESs. The CuCl/DESs-SLMs were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), contact angle measurement and weight analysis, and their performances of CuCl/DESs-SLMs were evaluated by the C2H4/C2H6 separation experiments. The effects of DESs composition, CuCl concentration, operation pressure and temperature were investigated systemically. It was found that the activity and chemical stability of Cu (I)-containing anionic species were enhanced through the hydrogen-bond interactions between the anionic species and DESs, which significantly increased the permeability of C2H4 and selectivity of C2H4/C2H6. Compared with other studies, the CuCl/DESs-SLMs exhibited comparable permeability and higher selectivity up to 20 for C2H4/C2H6. In conclusion, the CuCl/DESs-SLMs provided a promising method for the C2H4/C2H6 separation.


Deep eutectic solvents; Olefin/paraffin; Supported liquid membrane; Facilitated transport