3-Aminopropyltriethoxysilane-aided cross-linked chitosan membranes for gas separation: grand canonical Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations

  • Hossein Riasat Harami
  • Morteza AsghariEmail author
Original Paper


Molecular simulations were performed to consider the structural and transport properties of chitosan/3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTEOS) mixed matrix membranes (MMMs). In order to consider the presence of APTEOS content on the performances of membrane, various amounts of APTEOS were added to the polymeric matrix as a cross-linker. Structural characterizations such as radial distribution function (RDF), fractional free volume (FFV) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were carried out on the simulated cells. Self-diffusivity and solubility of membranes were calculated using mean square displacement (MSD) and adsorption isotherms, respectively. Additionally, permeability and permselectivity of CO2 and N2 gases were calculated by grand canonical Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics methods. The system temperature was set to 298 K using a Nose–Hoover thermostat. According to the results, upon increasing APTEOS loading, CO2 permeability increases until 10 wt.% loading. Then, by adding 20 wt.% of APTEOS, CO2 permeability decreases, which could be related to higher crystallinity. XRD graphs indicated that the crystallinity decreased when adding 10 wt.% APTEOS, while higher APTEOS content (up to 20 wt.%) led to higher crystallinity percentage, consistent with permeability results. Compared to literature reports, the present simulation indicated higher accuracy for defining the structural and transport properties of APTEOS cross-linked chitosan MMMs.

Graphical abstract

3-Aminopropyltriethoxysilane-aided cross-linked chitosan membranes for gasseparation


Molecular simulation APTEOS cross-linked chitosan Grand canonical Monte Carlo (GCMC) Molecular dynamics (MD) Gas separation 



The authors are grateful to Energy Research Institute at University of Kashan for supporting this work. Also, the authors gratefully acknowledge the computer facilities from High Performance Computing Research Center (HPCRC) in Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Iran, due to the support of this article under the contract number of ISI-DCE-DOD-Cloud-700101-2184.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Separation Processes Research Group (SPRG), Department of EngineeringUniversity of KashanKashanIran
  2. 2.Energy Research InstituteUniversity of KashanKashanIran

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