Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Hani El-Kaderi


The synthesis of highly porous organic polymers with predefined porosity has attracted considerable attention due to their potential in a wide range of applications. Of particular interest in porous organic polymers is their potential use in automotive applications as well as separation processes whereby advancements could result in a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and the production of natural gas in a more economically friendly manner. Along these pursuits, seven borazine-linked polymers (BLPs) have been synthesized through the introduction of p-phenylenediamine, 1,3,5-tris-(4-aminophenyl)benzene, benzidine, or tetra-(4-aminophenyl)methane with boron tribromide or boron trichloride followed by the thermolysis reaction of the resulting in situ adduct. All resulting polymers exist as amorphous polymers whose chemical connectivity was confirmed through FT-IR, solid state 11B and 13C NMR, and elemental analysis while thermogravimetric analysis reveals moderate thermal stabilities up to about 200°C. To assess their textural properties, all BLPs were subjected to nitrogen sorption experiments at 77 K. In all cases, the polymers possess high surface areas with chlorinated BLPs exhibiting higher values than their brominated analogues (1174-1569 m2/g versus 503-849 m2/g, respectively). Gas storage capabilities of BLPs for hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane were investigated as well. BLPs possess good hydrogen uptakes (0.68-1.75 wt% at 77 K) and zero-coverage isosteric heat of adsorption, Qst, (7.06-7.65 kJ/mol) as calculated by the virial method. The uptakes and heats of adsorption for carbon dioxide (51-141 mg/g at 273 K with Qst: 22.2-31.7 kJ/mol) are also attractive. BLPs do not, however, appear to exhibit significant methane storage capabilities (1.9-15.2 mg/g at 273 K with Qst: 17.1-21.7 kJ/mol). In light of such a difference in storage between carbon dioxide and methane, CO2/CH4 selectivity was calculated for each polymer according to the ideal adsorbed solution theory (IAST). Three of the polymers, BLP-1(Br), BLP-2(Br), and BLP-10(Cl), possess excellent selectivity capabilities over 20 even at low pressures for all molar ratios. Additionally, these selectivity values increase further with increasing pressure. Selectivity was also investigated for benzimidazole-linked polymers. In such systems, the CO2/N2 selectivity values reach 73 at low pressure and exhibit an increasing trend with increasing pressure.


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Date of Submission

December 2011

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Chemistry Commons