Evaluation of novel hybrid membranes

Nov 27 2017

Academics from Japan and Australia have assessed the effectiveness of novel hybrid materials known as mixed matrix membranes.

Led by Assistant Professor Shinji Kanehashi from the Division of Applied Chemistry at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne, together with Professor Sandra Kentish from the University of Melbourne’s Peter Cook Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage Research, these novel materials are derived from a polymer combined with porous nanoparticles formed from metal organic frameworks, porous organic polymers, or activated carbon. 

Assistant Professor Kanehashi said “Although a large number of gas separation membrane materials have been reported for CO2 capture in the last few decades, most have been tested under ideal conditions.  However, real industrial gas streams contain impurities such as water vapor, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. ” 

“We have investigated the resilience of the hybrid membranes in the presence of these impurities. We found that the hybrid membranes prepared using porous organic polymer nanoparticles were resilient to these impurities. This means that they can be effective in gas separation applications such as natural gas sweetening, biogas purification and post-combustion carbon capture, when these acidic gases are present.” 

Professor Kentish said “Membrane technology is one approach being investigated globally for the cost-effective capture of the carbon dioxide. However, to be successful, the membrane materials require high gas permeability and selectivity as well as long-term performance stability. These results will allow scientists and engineers to select the right materials for these applications.”

Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture remains a priority in many countries as the world seeks to address climate change. In particular, the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that geological storage of carbon dioxide is required for all scenarios that can meet 430-550 ppm CO2 atmospheric concentrations (Working Group III, IPCC 5th Assessment Report, 2014).

This research was partially supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), Australia and Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) (Grant No. 17K14850) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

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