Novel Porous Carbon Nanotube Membranes for Separation of CH4/CO2 and CH4/H2 Mixtures

Wednesday, October 19, 2011: 4:30 PM
200 D (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Jinchen Liu1, De-Li Chen2, Benjamin Bucior3, De-en Jiang4 and J. Karl Johnson3, (1)Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, (2)Dept.of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, (3)Dept. of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, (4)Chemical Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Separation of gas mixtures is important for a wide range of applications. Membrane separators have the potential to operate at high energy efficiency. However, it has long been noted that there is a fundamental trade-off between selectivity and permeance for polymeric membranes, i.e., the larger the selectivity, the smaller the permeability and vice versa. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) exhibit very different transport behavior compared with other nanoporous materials, having transport diffusivities that orders of magnitude higher than other materials. Coupling this high diffusivity with high selectivity would lead to a membrane that transcends the limits of traditional membranes. We have theoretically designed a porous carbon nanotube (PCNT) by generating pores on the wall of CNTs. Our simulations show that hypothetical PCNT membranes exhibit high selectivities for CH4/H2 and CH4/CO2 mixtures, accompanied by high permeance.

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See more of this Session: Characterization and Simulation of Novel Membranes and Separations
See more of this Group/Topical: Separations Division